Two prominent MPs from both sides of the political spectrum have reached across the aisle in a show of strength against the prospect of vaccine passports.
Steve Baker, who is a member of the Covid Recovery Group in Parliament, and Dawn Butler, who was a key Corbyn ally, have joined forces against the proposal that the Government would be introducing vaccine passports. The MPs released a joint article condemning the idea of the vaccine passports arguing that it would create a “two-tier checkpoint Britain”.
The Prime Minister had announced that for September nightclubs and other crowded areas would require people to be fully vaccinated in order to gain access to the facility.
On Monday, he said:
“I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again as they have elsewhere. But it does mean nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing.
“As we said last week, we do reserve the right to mandate certification at any point if it’s necessary to reduce transmission.
“And I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over-18s have had their chance to be double jabbed, we’re planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.”
However, the pair of MPs have joined other Tory rebels and the Liberal Democrat party in rejecting the idea.
Mr Baker and Ms Butler argued in their piece that:
“Domestic Covid Status Certification would mean that to take part in society we would all be required to have a domestic vaccine passport or instead to take a series of lateral flow tests each week. Although it makes sense for individuals to know whether they have the virus, it is wrong to dictate what people need to do in order to go about their lives.”
They also argued that the passports would discriminate against those who did not get the vaccine, including some ethnic minority people and people with allergies:
“Two-tier checkpoint Britain – the reality that would be created by this approach – would be intolerable for those with certain allergies, who are told by the Government not to take the vaccine. It will discriminate against the over 25 per cent of adults aged 70 or over in the Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean and Black African communities who the ONS has told us have not taken the vaccine yet.”
They concluded with a bipartisan message, writing:
“We are often on different sides when it comes to political debate, but on this issue of protecting our democracy, there should only be one side.”