Vaccine Passports Would Be State Reaching Too Far into Britons’ Lives, Warns Senior Tory MP

. (Photo by JOEL SAGET / AFP) (Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)
JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images

A Conservative government imposing covid status certificates would be the state reaching “too far into our lives”, a senior Tory backbencher has warned.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, which represents Conservative MPs without government positions, has warned against further loss of liberty, ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s expected announcement endorsing trials for the use of domestic vaccine passports for festivals and sports events.

Writing in The Telegraph, Brady condemned the tossing aside of the “foundation stone of British liberty” of British common law tradition — that Britons are free to do something unless there is a specific law forbidding it — when under the Conservative government’s emergency lockdown laws passed more than a year ago, it became “an offence to leave your home unless it was for a reason that was deemed acceptable by [Health Secretary] Matt Hancock”.

Remarking on the turning point that the prime minister’s statement today represents, Mr Brady wrote: “The announcements from No 10 on Monday will begin to show the British people whether their government wants the experience of the last year to change the way that we live our lives for good or to see life return to normal.”

He added that while vaccine passports may seem like “a short cut to freedom”, on closer examination, and amidst reports of the effectiveness of vaccines against new variants, vaccine passports are “intrusive, costly and unnecessary”.

Britons should be “vigilant in defence of liberty”, he warned, adding that “where the state has reached too far into our lives, we should kick it out.

“No government in future should have the power to tell you whether you can see your children or grandchildren, nor should it be able to force you to publish your medical records as a condition for living a normal life.”

Other influential Conservative MPs have criticised vaccine passports, including veteran party member and Brexiteer David Davis, who said that the NHS was too “incompetent” to be trusted with people’s data.

Over 70 MPs in the House of Commons have stated that they oppose vaccine passports, 41 from the prime minister’s own party.

According to The Telegraph, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, who is overseeing the review into vaccine passports, has privately promised MPs a vote on vaccine passports if Prime Minister Boris Johnson publicly backs them.

The newspaper estimates that if 60 Conservative MPs revolt and all Opposition parties vote against the plans, the government would fail to pass the measures in parliament.

While the 10 Liberal Democrat MPs are said to be prepared to vote against the measures, so far, Labour leader Keir Starmer has not confirmed a party position, only saying last week that vaccine passports were against “British instinct”.

Prime Minister Johnson will announce his plans for vaccine passports at a press conference on Monday evening, with the documentation set to be required for entering large venues like sports arenas or attending mass events like concerts by June 21st, according to The Sun.

Boris Johnson is believed to have climbed down on demanding vaccine passports for going to the pub or restaurants and has offered a time limit on the certificates’ usage in attempts to avoid a parliamentary rebellion.

However, Whitehall insiders have reportedly claimed that passports for pints could still be on the table, saying: “While the focus is on the high-risk settings which haven’t been able to happen like clubs, theatres, and sports stadiums, the review is still looking at hospitality as well.”


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