HC Deb 18 July 2002 vol 389 cc555-6W
Miss Begg

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if transsexual people will be able to have their transsexual name and gender recorded on an identity card system introduced by the Government. [70007]

Beverley Hughes

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary made a statement to the House on 3 July, announcing the publication of a consultation paper on Entitlement Cards and Identity Fraud. The consultation period will last until 10 January 2003. The Government has made it clear that the introduction of an entitlement card would be a major step and that it would not proceed

without consulting widely and considering all the views expressed very carefully. The consultation paper outlines how a scheme might be delivered by building on the existing driving licence and passport systems.

In the consultation paper the Government states that it is not proposing any changes to the law on transsexual people in the consultation exercise and that the existing procedures for issuing passports and driving licences in these cases would apply for any entitlement card scheme.

The Government announced on 21 June that it was reconvening the Working Group on transsexual people whose report has been under active consideration since it was presented to Parliament in July 2000. The Group will look further into the implications of the possible changes in policy identified in the report, and of the judgments of the European Court on Human Rights in the cases of Goodwin v. The United Kingdom and I v. The United Kingdom which were delivered on 11 July. The Group will report to Ministers later this year but no commitment can yet be given on any likely recommendations or the timing of their implementation. Any recommendations will be taken into account in the design of an entitlement card scheme should the Government decide to proceed after the consultation exercise.