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Johnson defends Covid-19 passport approach amid growing opposition




Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson insisted all possibilities would be considered to open up the economy as resistance mounted against proposals to introduce coronavirus health certificates.

Labor and the SNP have joined with Tory rebels in ruling out supporting the proposals as is.

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer on Wednesday called the current state of affairs with so-called vaccine passports a complete mess, warning that they could be a huge waste of taxpayer money when the focus should be on the administration of blows.

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Labor Party leader Sir Keir Starmer slammed the passport proposals for vaccines during a visit to Plymouth (Ben Birchall / PA)

He joined SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford in saying opposition MPs would not back the plans in their current form if the Prime Minister put them to a vote in the Commons.

But the Prime Minister, during a visit to Cornwall, said it was a responsible approach for any government to consider the possibility of ensuring that we can continue to open all sectors of the economy in a safe manner. during the rest of the year. and, you know, we’ll look at all the possibilities.

He again stressed that Covid Status Certificates would not be introduced for the April 12 or May 17 stages of the roadmap, which would see reception places in England open initially to the outside, then to the inside.

A government review of Covid status certification said they could potentially play a role in settings such as theaters, nightclubs and mass events, and could also be used in pubs and restaurants to reduce social distancing restrictions.

While documents are not required for transit and essential businesses and services, the exam leaves open the option for customers to be required to present their certificate to enter other retailers.

The documents would record on an NHS app or paper certificate whether someone has had a vaccine, recent negative coronavirus test, or restored natural immunity from Covid-19.

During a visit to Plymouth, Sir Keir told broadcasters: We do not support the government’s plans in their current form, it is that simple.

In fact, the government’s plans seem to change almost daily. Just a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister said he was thinking of vaccine passports to go to the pub now that he said no. One day he talks about tests and then certificates. It’s a complete mess.

Mr Blackford said earlier ministers had to address the considerable issues surrounding certificates of fairness, ethics and confidentiality, as SNP chief and Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon considered their use for Scotland .

The UK government has yet to release any proposals and the Tories’ position has been mired in confusion and contradiction. Based on the information available, there is no proposal before us that SNP MPs could support, Mr Blackford said.

Mr Johnson said on Monday he would certainly consult Parliament on certification plans if they materialize.

Their use is opposed by at least 40 Conservative MPs, which could be enough to defeat the government with the support of the opposition parties.

However, the Downing Street sources did not rule out suggestions that the use of national certificates could be associated with a vote on international passports for vaccines.

Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in UK
(PA graphics)

Such a move could increase the chances of prime ministers winning a vote, as international passports are much less controversial and would improve the likelihood of vacations abroad.

The Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of conservative lockdown skeptics has been angered by the possible introduction of vaccination certificates.

CRG deputy chairman Steve Baker, a former Tory minister, said the requirement to show documents would not be British and warned the country could become a miserable Checkpoint Britain dystopia.

The Liberal Democrats are also opposed to their introduction.

Party leader Sir Ed Davey told the PA news agency: Vaccine passports are actually Covid ID cards through the back door. They take away people’s freedoms.

We think they are impractical and we think they are unnecessary and illiberal.

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