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The noble and learned Lord, Lord Steyn, raised the issue of identity cards. The prime reason for this scheme is not anti-terrorist. It will provide a single, safe and secure way of protecting personal details and proving identity. At the moment, we constantly have to show council tax bills, driving licences, electricity bills and so on as a way of proving our identity. This is one absolutely secure way of doing that; it is a universal and simple proof of identity, which I think will bring convenience. The public, by and large, support it. Research done over a period of 18 months showed that 59 per cent of people absolutely support it. There is no doubt that locking a person to one identity does not necessarily mean that that is who they are but, with biometrics, it is the only identity that they will be able to have. It helps to protect us against the use of multiple identities. We know that criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists all make use of multiple identities; indeed, its training brochure shows that that is one of the things al-Qaeda teaches its people to do. This will stop that happening. So while identity cards are not the complete answer to terrorism, they have an impact on it.

The noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, talked about carrying ID cards. There is no requirement for people to do so. The noble and learned Lord, Lord Steyn, mentioned data security. The Identity Cards Act 2006 establishes a statutory duty for the national identity register to be secure and reliable. Its management and processes are overseen by the independent National Identity Scheme Commissioner, who reports annually on the uses to which ID cards are put and the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information recorded in that register. The national identity register data will be held in a very secure repository. It will be security-accredited to meet government and industry standards, and any viewing or provision of data will be subject to access controls and audited. Indeed, the levels of security very much tally with some of those that I have seen in military systems that I have seen in my past life.

My noble friend Lord Soley asked who has access to communications and how they are regulated. We launched a consultation last Friday on RIPA, which I have talked about; it will go through who can have access to things and which public authorities are allowed access to what bits. That will put a stop, I hope, to the nonsense of using the legislation for something silly like dog-fouling, which was clearly never the intention. It is absolutely ludicrous and it is good that we are having that consultation now.

I very much welcome the helpful comments made by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Woolf, on the effective use of the National DNA Database. This is a very difficult and complex issue; it was gratifying to have someone put such a good case pro it, because very often people are very anti it, out of hand, as being something appalling. The noble and learned Lord’s comments were extremely useful, and I thank

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him for them. The issue was touched on by a number of speakers, including the noble Baronesses, Lady Miller and Lady Hanham. We are drawing up proposals that will remove the current blanket retention policy; we intend to introduce a retention framework, setting a proportionate and evidence-based approach to retention. We have taken a number of actions already and will shortly respond fully to the requirements as a result of the S and Marper judgment.

The noble Earl, Lord Erroll, raised some points on data mining. As an aside, if he is actually talking to UBL, I should be very grateful if he would get in contact with me; I would be interested to find if there was just one degree of separation. The noble Earl raised some very good points. Data mining is definitely an issue; personal data must be protected in compliance with data protection principles, which are in the Data Protection Act, as we know. Data mining can involve processing personal data; in such circumstances, that can be carried out only in line with the DPA. However, there is no doubt that, to date, the ICO has not published any guidance on data mining; possibly, that is something that it will have to look at, because it is an area of concern.

The noble Baroness, Lady Miller, mentioned Phorm, as she has a number of times in this House. I know that she has a particular concern about this issue, as do I. However, I cannot really talk about it at the moment, as the CPS is still looking at the Phorm case, which is still under investigation, so it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer: My Lords, will the Minister comment on the one point that I raised that came out in the FOI request? The Home Office drew up a policy document on whether targeted online advertising was lawful interception. Was it normal Home Office practice for that document to be reviewed and commented on and for deletions to be suggested by the very company intending to undertake the activity?

Lord West of Spithead: My Lords, I cannot really comment on that, because I do not know the details. I shall get back to the noble Baroness in writing. I was not aware that that had gone on, but I shall look into it.

We are considering the issues raised in the European privacy directive letter of infringement and will respond in the required timeframe. Therefore, it is inappropriate to comment on that. On the subject of DPI, that is a quite accepted methodology for communication service providers, because it is how they ensure the health of their systems and ensure that there is not too much spam. They do it all the time; it is perfectly valid, as long as they do not use it for any other activity. As I say, however, the Phorm issue is still being looked at and is under active investigation by the CPS, so I cannot really talk about it. On E.ON, I was not at all aware of the issue that the noble Baroness raised. I shall go away and ask a question and come back in writing.

The noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, talked about ContactPoint very eloquently. These are very difficult issues. We went down this route because clearly the

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fact that people were not linked in together by using the advantages of electronic recording meant that some poor child died. We are looking at how we can best resolve this. Technology is the right way of doing it. We do not make people put certain information on there. We are probably going forward in the best way that we can. We would be grateful for suggestions from anyone on any way of improving this, because one has to do these things. If we do not, we get a fractured hold of information, which caused all the problems. Indeed, as the noble Lord, Lord Laming, said, that was the very reason for going down the route that we chose. I know that the noble Baroness is aware of that issue. We will have to keep wrestling with this matter, which raises some very difficult problems.

I have probably said enough. I hear the concerns of all those who fear that the Government intend to expand their collection and storage of personal information, but I can assure noble Lords that that fear is unjustified. We do not want to do this just because we want control. While, as one would expect, our objective of protecting the public is paramount, we do not intend to obtain or access any data unless doing so would be necessary and proportionate under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998, particularly to defend our national security, to fight crime and disorder and to protect the public. However, there is a need for the Government to demonstrate this better and to explain more clearly how they are seeking to achieve the right balance between privacy and security. That is why today’s debate has been valuable and I thank noble Lords for their welcome contributions to it.

4.21 pm

Lord Craig of Radley: My Lords, I thank the Minister and all noble Lords who have spoken so eloquently in this debate. The Minister’s last point was well worth bearing in mind and I welcome it. Perhaps I may leave one final thought. We never give any real consideration to what I would call an exit strategy on all the security arrangements that are introduced, whether they involve barriers, identity cards or data collection. We are led to believe that it is all done for very good reasons, but each measure gets added to the previous ones. If we are not very careful, we will end up in a very unhelpful situation that seriously impinges on our civil liberties and our privacy. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion withdrawn.

Sport: British Formula 1 Grand Prix

Question for Short Debate

4.22 pm

Tabled By Lord Astor of Hever

Lord Astor of Hever: My Lords, I declare an interest as unpaid honorary president of the Motorsport Industry Association. I always try to approach this subject in a totally non-political and non-partisan way. I very much

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look forward to the response of the noble Lord, the Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. It is comforting to see sitting alongside him the noble Lord, Lord Drayson. On behalf of the whole House, I wish him the very best of luck in the upcoming 24-hour race at Le Mans.

The Prime Minister has said that we are approaching the greatest ever decade of sport in this country with the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games and, possibly, the rugby and soccer world cups. A world-class British-hosted event that the Prime Minister did not mention was the British Grand Prix, which we have successfully hosted for more than 50 years. BBC TV has gained a huge new audience for its Formula 1 coverage. The audience for this year’s first two races increased by 300 per cent compared with ITV’s audience last year. UK Sport, on its website, recognises that the British Grand Prix is a “mega” event in the UK which improves the image of UK sport worldwide and establishes the UK as a powerhouse of the sporting world.

Her Majesty’s Treasury, in its Green Book, recognises the economic value of this event but also the significant “place marketing effect” on TV and in the media. This has considerable value, as it encourages visitors to return to the place of the event. The Grand Prix at Donington will deliver this effect in relation to East Midlands tourism.

In a show of significant commitment to the new venue, Formula 1 management and Mr Ecclestone have recently extended the agreement with Donington from 10 to 17 years. This is unprecedented. Mr Ecclestone has further helped by, uniquely, agreeing to the fee required being paid in pounds sterling and not US dollars, so giving even more stability to the owners of Donington. This demonstrates the importance that Mr Ecclestone places on retaining a successful British Grand Prix. I pay tribute to him and to another Briton, Max Mosley, the president of the FIA, for the way in which together they have built up international motor racing, from which the British motorsport industry has benefited enormously.

The Prime Minister says that sport raises aspirations in young people and influences society for good. I agree with him. UK motorsport victories around the world raise aspirations that deliver real, well paid British jobs in the engineering and manufacturing sector. These victories are gained through the supreme efforts of many suppliers, some of whom make the smallest part of an F1 car and whose employees celebrate victory just as joyously as the drivers or the team. These small British companies in Motorsport Valley need “their” Grand Prix victories to motivate and enthuse their employees, and their customers, during difficult economic times.

The success of the new Brawn GP team has brought many suppliers back from the brink of disaster. They rely on this team’s continuing success for their jobs and future. I congratulate BERR on its proactive assistance, which ensured that this valuable opportunity was not lost from UK industry. The relationship between the annual British Grand Prix and the Motorsport Valley business cluster is vital. The loss of one undoubtedly affects the other. Businesses in Motorsport Valley are fighting very hard to retain their dominant position as motorsport becomes more globalised.

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The new upcoming economies of the BRIC nations hold huge potential for small companies within Motorsport Valley, yet developed, advanced engineering competitors, such as Germany, Italy and the United States, are keen to take over this leadership and enter these markets ahead of British companies. Any damage to our international credibility, such as the failure to host our own Grand Prix, would have devastating economic effects.

British Formula 1 teams tell me that if there is no British Grand Prix, they will lose valuable sponsorship. Their major UK-based sponsors want to “live and feel” the Grand Prix. New FIA regulations allow at least two new F1 teams to start up with budgets of £30 million or so. It is vital that we attract these significant investments into Motorsport Valley, not into our competitors’ countries.

The challenge to this successful British manufacturing industry is a global one. The MIA and the motorsport industry wish to work together with the Government to meet this challenge and emerge victorious, as we do in other motorsport competition. Silverstone has done an outstanding job for many years, hosting one of the very best Grand Prix in the world, and I congratulate those involved. The Grand Prix will move to Donington but, critically, remain in the United Kingdom. Each year, the British Grand Prix generates more than £50 million of spending and the equivalent of more than 1,500 jobs. The East Midlands region cannot afford to lose such a unique advantage as this.

The new Donington facility adjoins an international airport, a new railway station and a motorway. It is easily connected to both East Midlands and Birmingham airports by the M42 and will become a new international tourist attraction in the East Midlands. The unique race car collection of Donington owner, Tom Wheatcroft, shows the history and development of motorsport valley companies and their F1 cars and sits alongside a new conference centre. It would be a tourist’s dream if this could attract some additional cars from the exceptional and rarely seen Ecclestone collection.

We are currently celebrating a young British world champion in Lewis Hamilton, driving for a British team and competing head to head with another outstanding British driver, Jenson Button. Last weekend another British-based team, Red Bull, scored its maiden victory in Shanghai. This is not just an issue of sport, although who can forget Ayrton Senna’s wonderful victory at Donington in the rain in the 1993 European Grand Prix? To further showcase to parliamentarians British success in this global industry, which provides so many valuable jobs, the MIA is hosting a motorsport industry day in Parliament on 6 July when industry leaders can meet Ministers, shadow Ministers and other parliamentarians.

We are leaders in a global industry and yet we rely on outdated figures from 2000, stating that sales were £5 billion. Last year I asked the noble Baroness, Lady Vadera, to help the MIA and MSA to update their national economic survey of 2000. That would allow them to work closely with government departments to create a well informed development strategy for the

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industry and sport. I hope that the regions, local authorities and relevant departments will support the MIA and MSA to deliver this research.

The DTI motorsport competitiveness panel recommended that the Government should access appropriate resources to ensure that the UK continues to host key world-class motorsports events, such as the British Grand Prix. The Minister for Sport said categorically last November that the Government would give their full support to make certain that we keep the British Grand Prix in this country. That is much appreciated by the British motorsport industry. I know that the Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the noble Lord, Lord Mandelson, is well aware of the importance of this. I have met the owners of Donington Park. They do not seek any free state aid or a government handout. They would like to secure constructive support and positive encouragement from the Government to help them through these difficult times. Mr Ecclestone has made it clear in a letter that I have seen that should Donington fail to meet its obligations, the Grand Prix would be lost to the UK. With pressure from other countries to join the F1 calendar, South Korea hosting its first race next year and India the year after, it would not be relocated elsewhere here. There would be no British Grand Prix, which would be a disaster.

I urge the Government to give a clear, positive statement of support for the British Grand Prix at Donington and to use all their influence to bring together resources from the regions, central and local government and the respective tourist boards to ensure that Britain hosts for years to come the world’s most prestigious motorsport competition. Such a confident statement will influence bankers, investors and overseas companies to confirm their investment plans to support the British Grand Prix and so bring welcome employment and job security to many in the regions and the wider Motorsport Valley business community.

4.34 pm

Lord Rooker: My Lords, I put my name down on the list to add to the bipartisan approach of the noble Lord, Lord Astor. We have not compared notes, although many of my points will reinforce what he said. I also want to reiterate our best wishes to my noble friend Lord Drayson. I have only done Le Mans once as a tourist—an anorak. It was incredibly exciting and different. I am sure that the opportunity to race there is almost as good as going as a spectator.

The noble Lord concentrated on F1, but it is not all about F1. There is a huge industry. This is a sport of business and a business of sport. The economic and job creation from this industry is enormous, with 50,000 people employed not in F1 but in the totality of motor sport. There are 25,000 professional engineers. Above all else, what they have of incredible value to business is transferable skills. They can move to jobs in space, aeronautics or medicine—I shall give one or two examples. About £6 billion of investment is involved, more than 50 per cent exports, which is phenomenal exports involving 150 companies. There is a big business out there that we need to nurture.

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Of course, more than half the F1 teams are based in this country. They are using leading-edge technology materials. I said in a brief speech in response to the Queen’s Speech that the United States’s military visited one or two of our F1 companies to assess the materials technology that they are using. The MoD has not been near them, they are so leading edge. It is quite incredible. More than 15 universities are offering motor sport-focused engineering degrees at masters level. As the noble Lord, Lord Astor, said, virtually all the companies are SMEs employing, say, 25 people on average with a turnover of about £4 million, well over 50 per cent of which is exports, with massive investment in R&D. I understand that the pharmaceutical industry investment in R&D is 19 per cent of sales. Motor sport is investing more and exporting more.

The totality of the industry needs nurturing. It is not looking for subsidy, as the noble Lord said. We are not here today for that. The idea of the motor sport day in Parliament is excellent. One or two other industries have done it; the chemicals industry has a very successful chemicals industry day in Parliament where one can see how chemicals affect our lives as parliamentarians—clean water, new materials, food safety and other aspects.

What is proposed for 6 July is excellent. What would be better still would be if some of the exhibits that were recently in the Science Museum could be on display for the exhibition “Fast Forward: 20 ways F1 is changing our world”. They were phenomenal. The space in the exhibition was less than half the size of the Chamber with 20 examples from interior design to driver-protected space materials now used in satellites for weather measurement technology—a direct benefit to us as a population. The technique used at the pit stop has halved the mistakes in intensive care transfers in some of our hospitals. They went to Ferrari and McLaren to learn the technology of transferring from intensive care after operations without mistakes. There is incredible tyre safety technology that will end up in our vehicles and improve road safety. There is the example of leg braces for orthopaedics and of greener cars with the new flywheel technology which will definitely—one cannot say when—transfer to production vehicles on the road and benefit the environment. This is industry that is working to benefit the environment. There were 20 examples, but one was the baby pod, for transporting sick babies. That is completely new technology absolutely different to what had been used in the past to transfer seriously ill babies between hospitals and doctors. They used the technology of the construction of the F1 car to design a brand new baby pod. Photographs of that could be brought here. It would be quite useful for Ministers, civil servants and others to see those examples, which are something that the industry can be incredibly proud of.

The noble Lord made the point that we want to keep the showcase race in the country. In some ways, I do not really care where it is. That is the reality. I care that it is somewhere that is effective and modern and that has good infrastructure. I could speak about my experience of being stuck in the mud at Silverstone for eight hours, but I will not; that is in the past. It does not matter whether the showcase race is at Donington

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or Silverstone or is a road race. I have not been to Donington for many years, but what is happening there is excellent.

The fact is that there are more tracks in the world than there are races. There is a limit to the number of Formula 1 races. Most of the tracks will operate at a loss on the race, but the finances go way beyond that, so one has to compete for the races. I understand that France is building a new track on the bank of the River Seine near the Renault plant that is supported by the local French département, so it has public money. Yet the Renault F1 team is based here in England—think how that sticks in the craw of our colleagues in France. Nevertheless, that new track has meant a new railway station, and a fast track to Paris is being put in again with a degree of public money.

I swear that I have not compared notes with the noble Lord, but I too believe that just because the sport is run in effect by two Englishmen gives us no right to guarantee a race here. We have to make that absolutely clear. Mr Mosley and Mr Ecclestone deserve praise for what they have achieved in the sport. I am not aware of many sporting bodies headed by a British person to great effect and with a big success for the industry; there is no question about that. Given the pressure which the FIA put on the teams to cut costs, I say that they probably saw the credit crunch coming long before the bankers. The costs were astronomically wasteful because they could do anything at high-tech—a nut for £800, I am told. Teams do not all need two wind tunnels. Wind tunnels are incredibly expensive. Pressure was put on those teams long before last year to cut costs to allow more people to compete and to maintain the stability of the team. The effect of that is coming through in what we are seeing now. Both Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley showed foresight.

I wanted to say a few words, as an anorak and a spectator, in support of the noble Lord, and to point out that we are talking about a business. It is a sport as well, but the industrial, economic and job ramifications are enormous and go way beyond the normal sport headline. That needs to be appreciated. We are not talking about massive companies, although the team owners and the motor companies may be. The vast majority of companies involved in this sport are small and medium-sized enterprises, which employ incredibly highly skilled engineers, male and female. That is what we need to nurture, because that is what we can sell to the world. That is our unique selling point. We need to keep the showcase and the rest of the infrastructure together, because that is how we will make good progress.

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