The prime minister said, "I think there is a long-term question about identity cards which is still under discussion. I think the question is 'will it be really effective?' And there are issues of cost.
"I do not think there is any reason of principle against [ID cards] but there are issues to do with cost and effectiveness that need to be covered, and those are the issues we are looking at."
The day before Blair spoke out, the home secretary also signalled that electronic ID cards could be on the way.
Speaking about asylum seekers, Blunkett told MPs, "Until we have an entitlement ID card for all those in our country, we will not have a robust way of determining true identity or right to work.
"I hope that the House of Commons and my colleagues will be prepared to debate that in the months ahead.''
ID card plan needs focus >>