Lib Dems hit out at ‘illiberal and unworkable’ vaccine passports
The Welsh Lib Dems have hit out at the plan for what they have called “illiberal and unworkable” vaccine passports.
The party’s leader in Wales, Jane Dodds, was responding to reports that First Minister Mark Drakeford is in talks with the UK Government about introducing them.
The UK Government’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that officials are working on an app that would allow people to show if they have had a Covid-19 vaccine.
Mark Drakeford said the application would need to conform with Welsh laws as well as be bilingual.
Responding to news that the Welsh First Minister is in talks with the UK Government over a “vaccine passport or certificate”
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds said: “We reiterate our opposition to any form of passport or certificate for accessing services or venues. The introduction of these would be not only be divisive and discriminatory but unworkable and illiberal.
“Plans to use the NHS app would discriminate against anyone who neither has nor can afford a smartphone.
“As the party of civil liberties and personal freedoms we were proud to successfully oppose the previous attempt to introduce of ID cards to the UK and we oppose these vaccine passports.”
Shapps told Sky News that the UK governmentiss working on “an NHS application” which would show “that you’ve had a vaccine, or that you’ve had testing”.
Mark Drakeford told the BBC: “I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised.”
“I have for many weeks raised in the weekly meeting we have with Michael Gove and the other first ministers the need to make sure that the development of that app is equally available in all parts of the United Kingdom.
“Here in Wales, it would need to conform with the laws in Wales. It would need to be bilingual, as well as available in English.
“That development has to involve officials of governments across the United Kingdom, and it has to have an outcome that allows the whole of the United Kingdom to act together on this matter.”
A UK Government spokesperson said: “The government is working on providing individuals with the means to demonstrate their Covid status easily – through a digital route as well as a route for people who don’t have access to a smart phone. Security and privacy will be at the core of our approach.
“Use of the NHS app is being considered as part of the digital route.”