Shadow home secretary David Davis asked what provision there was to protect against early cancellation costs.
The party has also written to likely major contractors to warn them.
A Downing Street spokesman refused to comment on the Tories' cancellation proposals, as they were "party political". And their attentions are directed to more important issues.
Iain Dale has a copy of what is alledged to be the text of his letter on his site, which reads as follows:
I am writing to you in relation to the Government's planned roll out of its national identity card scheme, commencing this year. You will be aware that there is a longstanding convention that one Parliament may not bind a subsequent Parliament.As you will also be aware, the Conservative Party has stated publicly that it is our intention to cancel the ID cards project immediately on our being elected to government. You are now formally on notice of our position and fully appraised of the contingent risks and associated liabilities arising from the national identity card scheme.
In light of these risks, I urge you to consider very carefully the government's position, in advance of the roll-out of the scheme later this year. As a matter of financial prudence, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that public money is not wasted, and contractual obligations are not incurred, investing in a scheme with such a high risk of not being implemented. In particular, I would be interested to know what provision, if any has, been made in the relevant contractual arrangements to protect the Government - and public funds - against the costs that would be incurred as a result of early cancellation of the scheme.
David Davis is of course correct, "one Parliament may not bind a subsequent Parliament".
However, any contract entered into with 3rd parties, is on behalf of the CROWN and not government in parliament.
Its this sort of fucked up thinking that got us into the European Union.
For god sake when will the conservative party ever learn.
Perhaps he needs to read a copy of the EC Convention on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations
Article 17 - No retrospective effect.