Vaccine passports – the first major political divide in the fight against COVID?
Both Starmer and Davey go on the offensive
After more than a year when there has been broad political support for the anti-COVID strategy it looks as though the idea of vaccine passports could become the first party political issue with both the LAB and LD leaders opposing.
The most firm opposition is coming from Ed Davey, the LD leader, who in the Telegraph has an article under the heading “Vaccine passports are unworkable and illiberal”. In it he argues that as Britain exits lockdown, all of freedoms must be restored and states emphatically that there can be no two-tier society.
Currently there is a government review going on which is looking at whether a certification system could help to reopen the economy. Like most things COVID the devolved administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff have their own policies in their own jurisdictions.
BBC News is giving coverage to Starmer’s interview in the Telegraph under the heading Vaccine passports against ‘British instinct’ – Starmer. Its report notes:
..speaking to the paper, Mr Starmer stressed there could be resistance to any sort of vaccine certificate. He said: “My instinct is that… [if] we get the virus properly under control, the death rates are near zero, hospital admissions very, very low, that the British instinct in those circumstances will be against vaccine passports. “I think that this idea that we sort of outsource this to individual landlords is just wrong in principle.” He added that “this is really difficult and I’m not going to pretend there’s a clear black and white, yes-no easy answer on this”.
In my previous PB post I argued that because the level of response to vaccinations in the UK has been so great that the default assumption at the moment must be that an individual over 60 has been jabbed.. Once younger age groups have had their jabs the same will be said about them.
If there was a lot of resistance to vaccination then maybe there might be a case – but there isn’t. In any case in England at least the 30m who so so far have been vaccinated have been given a little cardboard card.