The UK’s ‘vaccine passport’ could be doomed if it is put to a vote in parliament after signaling that the opposition Labor party will not back the policy.
Yesterday, the government said vaccine passports “will likely become a feature of our lives” and people would have to prove they have had the vaccination or a negative COVID test to attend events and access basic services.
Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson has asserted that pubs and restaurants will not need passports, Covid Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi later suggested that this may be the case in the future.
However, all politics could be in trouble after it was revealed Labor could join with Tory rebels and Liberal Democrats in voting against the measure.
“Based on what we have seen and discussed with ministers, we oppose the government’s plans for national passports for vaccines,” a Labor source told Politico’s playbook. “They seem poorly thought out, will burden business and run the risk of becoming another expensive Whitehall project that will be outsourced to friends of Tory ministers.”
If Labor voted against the measure along with the Tory rebels, the Tory government would not have enough votes to push the measure through Parliament. The possibility remains that they could attempt to push through the policy without a vote at all, saying this is already allowed under existing coronavirus lockdown laws.
Labor opposition to the policy is said to be massive given that the party has been nothing more than a rubber stamp for every government lockdown term for over a year.
As we have already pointed out, the vaccine passport is essentially a digital ID card that the government plans to link to facial recognition technology.
This means that it goes far beyond the purview of a simple vaccine passport and could represent the first incarnation of something similar to China’s expensive social scoring system.
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