In 2006, Tony Blair brought in legislation for national identity cards, partially in a bid to crack down on claims of welfare scam.
The policy met fierce opposition on the Conservative benches, with Boris Johnson once promising he would “eat an ID card”. It was subsequently scrapped under the David Cameron-Nick Clegg coalition.
But the suggestion has been brought back on to the centre stage. Blair has remained a proponent of ID cards, with his research institute publishing reports in favour of them.
And now the parliamentary Labour party is considering them in a bid to stop illegal migrants finding work on the black market.
Stephen Kinnock, the shadow immigration minister said the policy was being looked at “very, very carefully”. Some have suggested the availability of illegal work lures more people to travel to our shores over the Channel.
It might be that in an era after vaccine passes, there is much less opposition. But they still need to be proven effective before justifying the cost.