Queen’s Speech ‘will smuggle in ID cards’

Legislation in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech could smuggle in ID cards “through the back door,” civil liberties groups have warned.

Minor clauses of the immigration and citizenship bill will extend powers to examine identity documents. These were previously thought to apply only to ports of entry. It now appears they apply within the country to anyone who has ever left the UK.

If the clause stays in the bill, it would go further than most government announcements on the matter, effectively making the cards cumpulsory to carry.

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said: “Sneaking in compulsory identity cards via the back door of immigration law is a cynical escalation of this expensive and intrusive scheme.”

But campaigners are pleased with the expected repeal sections 132-138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, which banned protests around Parliament Square.

“We hope to see the right of peaceful protest returned to Parliament Square in the optimistically titled ‘constitutional renewal bill’,” Ms Chakrabarti added.