EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: Public health is being used as a cover for creeping authoritarianism

Another week where the Prime Minister tries to deflect the debate away from his shambolic handling of the pandemic and his repeated lies to the British public.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:00 am
These passports will create a "two-tier” system. What about people who still haven’t had the vaccine or can’t have it for medical reasons?

This time he moved the debate onto vaccine passports.

Countries that have managed to stem the spread of the virus have done so by having a functioning test, trace and isolate system as well as proper airport controls. Yet this Government continues to ignore this, because by doing so and by focussing on the passport, it gives the Prime Minister and Health Secretary another opportunity to gift billions of pounds of public money to yet another of their inexperienced and incompetent friends to create a new app.

There is no question of using checks and balances for international travel, that has long been the case for other viruses, but this is not what the Government is proposing. They propose that for non-essential retail and hospitality, people

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

would need proof of their vaccine status, test results, or evidence that they have had covid and recovered from it. To what degree they need to have recovered isn’t clear.

Yet we already know that vaccination doesn’t guarantee immunity from the virus and we don’t know if it will protect us from future variants or transmission. These passports place an extra burden on the hospitality sector that has already to put in place considerable safety measures at a significant cost. These passports will create a ‘two-tier’ system. What about people who still haven’t had the vaccine or can’t have it for medical reasons?

This Prime Minister keeps telling us he wants us to have our freedoms back. He wants us to live normal lives again. Yet, at every turn, he is making decisions that do the opposite.

Decisions that give him and his Government unprecedented control over our daily lives and movements.

This is a dangerous Government, using public health as a cover for creeping authoritarianism. These passports are not workable and not grounded in science. Freedom is a precious cornerstone of our democracy. Freedom through compulsion is not real freedom. That is why I will vote against vaccine