“cardholders will still be registered on the British ID national database”

UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled the design of the UK’s national, but not yet mandatory, identity card. According to the BBC report, we’re a special case.

That means Irish nationals living in NI will be issued with a “personal ID card” rather than a national ID card. The personal card will not record an individual’s nationality and so cannot be used as a travel document. Only the Irish Government can issue an official travel document to Irish citizens.

However, cardholders will still be registered on the British ID national database and so will be able to use the card to prove their identity. The Home Office is also going to assure those who hold Irish nationality or dual citizenship living in Britain that they will continue to have the right to apply for an Irish passport even though they are on the UK national identity register.

That’s not to be confused with the identity card for foreign nationals resident in the UK. More on the UK national identity card here. Hmm.. does that mean that the UK government will, in effect, be issuing travel documents for Irish nationals living in England? Or will they too get the “personal identity” card?