Jo renews passport in ID card protest

Renewing passports now will avoid registration on the National Identity Database until 2016


Jo Swinson MP has renewed her passport to avoid registration on the Government’s ID card database for the next 10 years.

Once the National Identity Database is set up, details of everyone who renews their passport will be entered, and people applying for passports will have to attend an interview, provide fingerprints and have their irises scanned.

Newly issued passports are valid for 10 years, so renewing now will mean avoiding ID card registration until 2016. Jo has been highly critical of the Government’s plans to introduce ID cards, calling them “expensive, intrusive and ineffective”.

Jo commented:

“I have joined the whole Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team in applying to renew my passport now, to avoid being registered on the Government’s National Identity Database.

“In March the Government broke its manifesto commitment to introduce ID cards on a voluntary basis, by making registration compulsory for everyone who renews their passport. Since I am going to be forced to register for an ID card, I want to buy myself as much time as possible before having to participate in this unnecessary scheme.

“Anyone else who wants to avoid having their details stored should renew their passport now – you don’t have to wait until your passport runs out.

“The Liberal Democrats have consistently voted against the introduction of identity cards, which we believe will interfere with civil liberties, do little to tackle fraud, terrorism and other crimes, and come at huge expense.”

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