Thursday 2 August 2018 5:34 AM UTC
LONDON Aug 2: A CITIZEN ID registration scheme should be considered for everyone in Britain, as part of a package to strengthen border controls after Brexit, a think tank has suggested.
It said a proposed scheme to register EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after Brexit should be used as a test bed for a system that could be rolled out across the country.
It would prove people’s entitlements to be here and to access services and jobs, while also making it harder for illegal immigrants to continue operating, said the report for centre right think tank Policy Exchange.
It should not need people to carry a physical ID card, it stressed, but instead govern citizens’ interactions with the state through via a digital system based on unique personal reference numbers.
There are also safeguards that can now be built into the central storage of information, to protect them from misuse.
Civil liberty objections to the idea of needing to carry a card, and fears that a national database would put people’s personal details at risk of misuse, sank the ID card plan that was introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour government in 2006.
Legislation to scrap the programme was the first Bill introduced by Theresa May when she became Home Secretary in 2010.
But the authors of today’s report said the concept of a registration scheme should be revisited.
They said Brexit and the ending of free movement of people from the EU made this an ideal moment to rethink, update and improve Britain’s immigration controls.
The Government plans for the estimated 3.6 million EU citizens already in the UK to join a registration scheme if they want to stay beyond the end of the proposed transition period, December 31, 2020.
People will acquire a unique “EU Citizens Number” based on the document with photographic and biometric data which they used to register, that will secure them rights and access to public services, with layers of digital security woven into the system to protect their data.
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