Reform UK’s Tice Brands Vax Passports ‘Blackmail and Coercion Through Back Door’

Vice-chair of the Leave Means Leave campaign, Richard Tice speaks during a 'Save Brexit' rally organised by the Leave Means Leave campaign in Bolton, north west England on September 22, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Reform UK leader Richard Tice has criticised as “blackmail and coercion” the government proposal of vaccine passports.

Earlier this month, the government announced it would be demanding proof of vaccination to enter nightclubs from late September, with reports the documents may also be required for university, large events, or even travel.

The threats come despite months of denials from Cabinet ministers that Britain would ever introduce a ‘papers, please’ society, a point that did not escape the attention of the leader of Reform UK — formerly the Brexit Party — Richard Tice.

“They’re looking to continue the persecution of the young,” Mr Tice told Mike Graham on talkRADIO on Friday.

Noting that most of the avenues facing the barrier of vaccine passports tend to be rites of passage for the young, the Reform UK leader said.

“It is blackmail and coercion through the backdoor by making it effectively impossible to lead a normal, traditional life as a young person unless you’ve been vaccinated.”

“Once you start coercing people to take medicine, then you’re in a whole different place where essentially the state becomes all-powerful. Whereas actually, it’s one’s own body, and one should have freedom of choice to do what you want to with your body. It’s deeply discriminatory,” Tice said.

“It’s a very slippery slope. It’s the thin end of a massive, massive wedge, and where does it stop?”

Around 50 Tory MPs are reportedly planning to vote against the government in September if the Johnson administration goes ahead with its proposal. That is just a fraction of the 363 Conservative MPs in the House of Commons, however, and with Johnson’s 83-seat majority, much of the resistance to making the United Kingdom a domestic passport society could rest with the Labour Party.

Labour has been unclear on its position in the past week. The Reform UK leader criticised Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds MP for saying that while his party “wouldn’t support” vaccine passports for “everyday life”, the party might back the demand for vaccine passports and testing for “big cultural events”, without defining where “everyday life” ends and big events begin.

“He didn’t know what a ‘large gathering’ was. It is the cinema with 50 other people? It is 10,000 people at a sports stadium? You know where it’s going,” Tice warned.

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