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Vaccine passports proposal is 'nonsense', David Davis tells LBC

4 April 2021, 11:52 | Updated: 4 April 2021, 20:59

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The government's plan to introduce domestic vaccine passports is "nonsense", former Brexit secretary David Davis has said.

Speaking on LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday, Mr Davis said he "cannot see what this is for" and that Brits should not be forced into "giving up our basic freedoms".

The former Cabinet minister told the show he understands "why the government is frightened of another super-spreader event", referencing last year's Cheltenham Festival and the Champions League football match between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.

But, he said, once more than 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated against coronavirus, "you've got herd immunity".

"The tsunami that left those events will stop at the gate basically because it won't be able to carry on."

He added that "it's very difficult to see what they (ministers) are trying to stop," before asking "who are they trying to protect?"

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David Davis branded the vaccine passports proposal "nonsense"
David Davis branded the vaccine passports proposal "nonsense". Picture: LBC

"We know that the vaccines aren't perfect at stopping infection... but they seem to have 100 per cent impact on stopping deaths," he claimed.

"Unless you're going to go down the route saying 'we're going to eradicate this disease'... I can't see what this is for."

Tom Swarbrick put it to Mr Davis that introducing vaccine passports could help protect the NHS, limit the spread of new variants that may not be as responsive to vaccines and ensure large-scale events can go ahead.

"I cannot see how vaccine passports would prevent the spread of variants," the MP replied.

"We're allowing children to go to school. We're going to be allowing them, quite properly, to go and visit their grandparents. We're going to allow shops and non-essential shops to continue. We're going to allow pubs, by the sounds of it, to carry on.

Read more: Mandatory vaccine passports threat to British freedom, Tory MP fears

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"Variants don't pick Britain. We are 60 million, of whom more than three-quarters will be vaccinated. There are 7.8 billion people in the world... the idea that we'd somehow stop variants by this rather silly measure in Britain alone is nonsense."

Mr Davis later said he agreed with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who suggested that vaccine passports are "un-British".

"If we were still in the middle of a disease which was killing vast numbers of people, then it might be arguable," he added.

"We wouldn't do this for flu, which can kill up to 25,000 people a year.

"Vaccines will reduce this illness to killing a lot less than that every year, then we'll have to accommodate it, but not by giving up our basic freedoms."

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