It has been claimed in the media that I have done a U Turn in relation to the UK ID card scheme. Rest assured, this man is not for turning. All that has changed is that instead of a massive single database to hold records for the national identity card scheme, it will be spread across the three existing IT systems because as everyone knows civil servants like everything to be in triplicate. Unfortunately, it will also mean that the taxpayers will bear the cost at a figure between two and four times the amount of a single system. Protecting the public is priceless, and nobody can argue that I am not doing something sensible.
I have announced proposals to force foreigners already in the UK to register their biometrics. This will initially be done by taking foreigners off the street and from their homes and places of work to police stations to have their fingerprints taken and have their iris scans. In due course, police on the street will have the necessary equipment and have the power to stop any foreign looking person and take their fingerprints and iris scans. It may be that a foreigner will be stopped twenty times a day, and subjected to an inconvenience, however, the equipment will pass the information onto the databases, and they will know if the data is already stored, and if so, it will reject the fresh input, in effect, the data is only collected once therefore it is only a minor inconvenience upon foreigners if it is an inconvenience at all. It is not being intrusive, at this moment in time, we do not have plans to conduct intimate body searches using vaseline and surgical gloves.
A consultation paper will be published in the New Year to seek the views of immigrants on my proposals. However, if they do not agree to them, it would be seen as being anti-British and an unBritish activity which may lead to arrest and detention. Therefore we are seeking their consent and approval for the measures which leave them no option but to agree to being forced or force will be applied. In the war on terror and immigration, we can leave no stone unturned to seek them out.
The UK ID card scheme will help to secure our borders and tackle illegal immigration, reduce the frauds they commit, fight other crimes and terrorism they commit, and improve protecting our children from them. No one who opposes the introduction of the identity card scheme can truly claim to treat subjects as seriously as they claim to do. Gordon Brown is proving to be a white elephant. Vote for me as Prime Minister. I believe in social justice for non-British, and British justice for the British. Together we will keep Britain safe.