The LSE's report on Identity cards is fairly sanguine about the impact of the scheme on the Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland.
In the event that the UK identity card proposals pass into law, there is a perception that the existence of the Common Travel Area of the UK & Ireland will necessitate the establishment of an Irish identity card, otherwise the Common Travel Area would present a fundamental security loophole in the ID card proposals. This view is not supported by evidence.
However, the LSE Report does note practical concerns raised by human rights group Justice similar to those expressed by the DUP in this week's debate.
The DUP and the SDLP both voted solidly against the Government in last night's Commons vote on the Identity Cards Bill. Lady Sylvia Hermon was the only Northern Ireland MP to contribute to the Government's reduced majority of 31.
During the debate, there were a number of mentions of the bill's implications for the Common Travel Area between Britain and Ireland. I have set out one of them below, in which the Home Secretary signally fails to answer the salient question raised by Andrew MacKinlay.
The Identity Cards Bill will have its second reading later this afternoon, so I suppose I'd better fulfill my promise to have a look at the stance of the Northern Ireland MPs on the issue.
The most significant player will be the DUP who have 9 seats. Frank Millar of the Irish Times had a very interesting report on their stance yesterday. It looks as if they are viewing the vote as a chance to test their parliamentary leverage, and to push for concessions such as seats in the House of Lords.
Back in January I applied under the new Freedom of Information Act for the correspondence between the British and Irish Governments on the Identity Cards Bill.
In February, I got a reply saying that the Home Office was carrying out a public interest test on whether it should release the information.
Last week, I heard the Department had decided not to disclose the information, after concluding under section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act that the interests of good relations between the two governments outweigh the public interest in disclosure.
They did however send me some documents which they concluded it was in the public interest to disclose. As you can imagine, they were fairly anodyne.
Nevertheless, I have done a story on them for the Irish World.