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UK politicians have pledged to oppose the use of ‘divisive’ COVID-19 passports to boost the country’s economy impacted by the pandemic, including the members of the ruling Conservative Party. Now, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson risks triggering a significant backlash among members of the parliament. As per a Bloomberg report, over 70 members of Parliament from three parties including 41 from Johnson’s Tories have vowed to oppose the use of vaccine certificates and termed them “divisive and discriminatory.” The UK MPs include former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat Party leader Ed Davey.
The statement on April 1 from the civil liberties campaign Big Brother Watch said, “We oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs.”
The statement on Friday came after it was learnt that the UK government is considering the use of Covid certification as part of trials to re-open several large scale events including matches, conferences and other gatherings. However, this interparty opposition suggested that UK PM Johnson would have to struggle his way through the Parliament in order to pursue the rule. As per the report, the government is currently analysing the Covid certification as a potential way to provide confidence among the general public after a tolling year filled with lockdowns and a health crisis while also keeping the novel coronavirus cases under control.
Earlier this month, World Health Organization (WHO) emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan, during a press briefing on March 8 said that there are “real practical and ethical considerations” for countries that are considering using vaccine certification as a prerequisite for travel. Ryan said, “Vaccination is just not available enough around the world and is not available certainly on an equitable basis”.
However, the WHO emergencies chief noted that the policy of ‘vaccine passports’ might come up unfair for the people who cannot be vaccinated for certain reasons. Also, requiring vaccine passports might allow inequity and unfairness to be further inculcated into the system.