British government accused of trying to bypass Parliament in vaccine passport push
By Cassie B. // Oct 10, 2021

The British government is coming under fire for what many view as an attempt to bypass Parliament to push vaccine passports through.


Last month, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the country’s vaccine passport system had been scrapped. A day later, however, the government announced that passports would be an “integral” part of their response should COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase.

Their Plan B would involve using vaccine passports as a first line of defense against a winter outbreak of the virus. With doubts that such a move would pass a Parliamentary vote, the government has instead decided to launch a “public consultation” in hopes of finding support for the controversial idea.

The Telegraph reported: “The plans seemed to have been put on the backburner but on Monday night the Government launched a consultation, asking the public for views on the use of vaccine passports this autumn and winter if Covid-19 cases threaten to overwhelm the NHS.”

Many Brits have expressed concerns about this attempt to sidestep a vote, particularly given the fact that there is no evidence passports could really stop the spread of the disease – and similar experiments in Israel have not done much to stop cases from rising. Another common theme in people’s criticism of the passports is their discriminatory nature and the fact that they would not be granted to people who had acquired natural immunity, nor would testing out be an option.

That’s right: A negative test would not be acceptable to gain entry to the affected venues. The only way to get inside is if you can prove you’ve complied with the vaccine, even though you could very well be carrying the virus and spread it onto others at the event despite being vaccinated.

At the end of last year, the government assured the British public that the passports would never come into force. Last month, Javid maintained that vaccine passports are a “huge intrusion into people’s lives” and said in no uncertain terms: “I am pleased to say we will not be going ahead.” He added that they would not be needed because of other aspects of their “wall of defense,” such as testing, surveillance, new treatments and high vaccine uptake.

Scotland’s vaccine passport is off to a rocky start

Meanwhile, Scotland’s introduction of its own vaccine passport requirement for nightclubs and similar venues at the beginning of October has run into serious problems, with the vaccine certification app experiencing significant bugs that stopped people from accessing the proof they needed to attend events.

In Scotland, unseated outdoor events of more than 4,000 people are being required to conduct a “reasonable number” of spot checks, while smaller venues such as nightclubs must carry out more rigorous checking.

A spokesperson said: "We are aware of some teething issues which are primarily down to the volume of requests and urgent work is underway to resolve this.

"We expect the problems, and the associated backlog, to be cleared within the next couple of days. A further fix has been identified and is being tested."

He added that there was a grace period in place to allow the system to be tested and that enforcement won’t begin until October 18.

The Night Time Industries Association, a group that has come out in opposition of the plan, called the launch “disastrous” and described it using terms like “shambles" as people encounter repeated problems registering and uploading their vaccination status.

"The NTIA has repeatedly warned Scottish government of just how unworkable their vaccine passport plan is, and the disastrous launch of this flawed scheme has proved that our warnings were well founded," a spokesperson for the group said.

Sources for this article include:

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