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It was expected that this would happen soon after the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), which was formerly the UK Passport Service, started interviewing passport applicants to verify their identity.
Foreign nationals from outside the European Union, however, continue to require an ID card for use as a biometric residence permit under the provisions of the UK Borders Act 2007 and the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.
Following their 2005 election victory, the Labour Government introduced a new Identity Cards Bill, substantially the same as the previous Bill, into the Commons on 25 May.
The Conservatives joined the Liberal Democrats in opposing the Bill, saying that it did not pass their "five tests".
A proposal for ID cards, to be called "entitlement cards", was initially revived by the Home Secretary at the time, David Blunkett, following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, but was reportedly opposed by Cabinet colleagues.The Bill then passed to the House of Lords, but there was insufficient time to debate the matter, and Labour were unable to do a deal with the Conservatives in the short time available in the days before Parliament was dissolved on 11 April, following the announcement of the 2005 general election.Labour's manifesto for the 2005 election stated that, if returned to power, they would "introduce ID cards, including biometric data like fingerprints, backed up by a national register and rolling out initially on a voluntary basis as people renew their passports".During a private seminar for the Fabian Society in August 2005, Tony Mc Nulty, the minister in charge of the scheme, stated "perhaps in the past the government, in its enthusiasm, oversold the advantages of identity cards", and that they "did suggest, or at least implied, that they might well be a panacea for identity fraud, for benefit fraud, terrorism, entitlement and access to public services".He suggested that they should be seen as "a gold standard in proving your identity".