A citizen ID registration scheme that would cover everyone in the UK has been proposed by a think tank, as part of a package to strengthen border controls after Brexit.
According to Policy Exchange, a proposed scheme scheme to register EU citizens who wish to stay in Britain should be rolled out as a trial for a system that could eventually be used across the country.
The think tank argues that it could provide secure proof of people’s entitlements to be here, access services and jobs, and also make it harder for illegal immigration to continue.
Rather than a physical ID card, the organisation has proposed that British citizens’ interactions should be governed via a digital system that’s based on a unique reference number.
A similar plan was quashed under Tony Blair’s government in 2006 due to fears of misuse and concerns over civil liberty. However, the think tank argues that it should be revisited in light of current circumstances and the advancement in technology.
Specifically, they state that Brexit and the ending of free movement of people from the EU in the UK means the concept should now be revisited as part of a bid to improve UK immigration controls.
Co-author David Goodhart, Policy Exchange's head of demography, immigration and integration, commented: "We strongly recommend reopening the debate about ID management to reassure people that we know who is in the country, for how long, and what their entitlements are.”