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Hell in a handcart

ID cards: voluntary? Only if you’ve never been on holiday

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Clauses in the draft Immigration and Citizenship Bill give state officials the power to make anyone who has ever entered the country, at any time, prove who they are without needing any suspicion of a potential crime.

Civil liberty groups warned that the catch-all clauses would effectively cover any British citizen who has ever left the UK, even for a holiday, because they will have “entered” the UK on their return.

Refusing to hand over the necessary documents would be a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of almost a year in prison and/or a hefty fine.

It’s probably the result of badly worded draft legislation, but if it isn’t fixed it’s all rather chilling.

2 replies on “ID cards: voluntary? Only if you’ve never been on holiday”

So you’re exempt from having to produce documents if you’ve never left the country. Without producing documents, how do you prove that?

I’m increasingly convinced that draft legislation is badly worded deliberately. Bad wording has enabled all sorts of things. Only a paranoid lunatic would point out that the anti-terrorism legislation potentially gave low-level council functionaries the ability to spy on people for suspected minor infractions of minor bye-laws. Of course it won’t be used for such things! It’s anti-terrorism legislation! You know, for terrorists!

I mean, these people write legislation for a living, they’ve had years of practice, and they have help from lawyers who specialise in it and have had even more years of practice, and they spend months or even years on each one. And we’re supposed to believe that it ends up sloppily worded by accident? I’m first in line to agree that politicians are stupid and incompetent, but this is still stretching it a bit. Especially considering the sheer ingeniosity on display when submitting expense claims for mortgage payments.

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