Patrick Mercer is a member of the Conservative Party and adviser to Lord West, the Security Minister. He has identified a loophole in the ID card scheme that potentially allows al-Qaeda to carry out acts of terror without being detected.
Mercer Highlights Failings of ID Card Three-Month Rule
During his speech, which was made in the House of Commons, Mr Mercer made reference to a part of the ID card wording that states the requirement of carrying one does not apply to those people staying in Britain for three months or less. "A cursory understanding of the core Al Qaeda group makes it quite clear that its visits to countries such as ours will last a lot less than three months", he stressed, adding: "Does that not drive a coach and horses through the whole concept of ID cards?"
Immigration Minister: ID Cards Will Strength UK's Defence Against Terrorism
Responding to his statement, Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, countered: "Al Qaeda's own training manual requires its operatives to acquire false identities to hide their terrorist activities". He continued by describing how the implementation of ID cards was set to augment the UK's defence against terrorism, and also permit the government's tougher stance on those entering the country illegally.
Mr Byrne also referred to the "outlook" of John Redwood, the Conservative MP, as "20th century", when it came to notions of how to monitor the influx of immigrants.
According to Byrne, the prevention of illegal working was paramount to stopping immigrants arriving here illegally.
"That is why we have to increase the penalties for businesses that break the rules", he said.
"It is also why we have to make it easier for businesses to know whether a foreign national is who they say they are, and whether they have the right to work. That is where ID cards will help."
Source _ Security International's Current Affairs Correspondent