The UK press association put out the following information about the UK eID card program;
The £5 billion national identity card scheme will be consigned to the scrap-heap as a result of the new coalition Government, the Home Office confirmed. Axing the controversial scheme and associated identity databases were key manifesto commitments for both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
Senior ministers must now choose how to withdraw several thousand cards already in circulation after individuals paid £30 and handed over personal information. The majority have been handed to foreign nationals, but people in the north-west England, young people in London and airport workers were also able to apply. Anyone holding a card can still use it for identification, banking and travel within Europe.
A message posted on the Identity and Passport Service website today urged anyone considering an application to wait for further announcements. It said: “Both parties that now form the new Government stated in their manifestos that they will cancel identity cards and the National Identity Register. We will announce in due course how this will be achieved. Applications can continue to be made for ID cards but we would recommend anyone thinking of applying to wait for further announcements”.
“Until Parliament agrees otherwise, identity cards remain valid and as such can still be used as an identity document and for travel within Europe. We will update you with further information as soon as we have it.”
Both parties had promised to scrap the project citing either financial or civil liberty reasons should they come to power. It should come as no shock to anyone that with both parties in government under a Con-Lib Alliance and looking for common-ground agreements, this was the first project to feel their combined force of change. There are also rumors that the second generation of biometric passports will also be scrapped along with the National Registration Database (NRD). However with what we have seen so far I do not think they will stay rumors for long.
Will other European governments with liberal leanings (Germany’s CDU/CSU-FDP Alliance) follow suit?