Tory MP rejects Brits needing vaccine passports 'to go about their lives'

14 February 2021, 11:50 | Updated: 14 February 2021, 15:37

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Britain should not "get to a position where we are telling people they can’t do things unless they have been vaccinated", Tory MP Mark Harper has told LBC.

The chair of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) told LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday that he does not believe people should be required "to have a particular medical procedure before they can go about their day to day life".

It comes after Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Tom Swarbrick that the government is considering introducing vaccine passports for both domestic and international travel.

Responding to the secretary of state's comments, Mr Harper told the presenter that other countries are entitled to demand a Covid-19 vaccination prior to entry.

"As far as international travel is concerned, clearly other countries are entitled to have rules about what you have to do before you enter their country. Clearly, if countries require you to have a Covid vaccination that is entirely up to them and people will need to be able to evidence that," he said.

Exclusive: Domestic and international vaccine passports 'being considered' - Raab

Watch: Barring travel 'justified' if vaccine passport introduced, professor says

However, he was far more hesitant at the prospect of Britain introducing a similar measure for travel within its borders.

"In the UK, I don’t think we want to get to a position where we are telling people they can’t do things unless they have been vaccinated with Covid.”

Mr Harper added: “For everyday life, I don’t think you want to require people to have to have a particular medical procedure before they can go about their day to day life," he said.

"That is not how we do things in Britain.

"Obviously internationally that is up to other countries about what they require to enter their countries and obviously we will have to comply with that if we wish to travel abroad.”

Read more: Clinically vulnerable and over-65s offered Covid jab from Monday

Watch: Covid vaccine trialist shares concern over prospect of vaccine passports

Mark Harper told LBC Brits shouldn't need vaccine passports to go about their lives
Mark Harper told LBC Brits shouldn't need vaccine passports to go about their lives. Picture: LBC

Earlier, Mr Raab told LBC the modalities and mechanisms for reopening the country still "need to be worked out" but that ministers are considering the introduction of domestic Covid passports.

"It's something that hasn't been ruled out and it's under consideration, but of course you've got to make it workable," he said.

However, a government spokesperson later told LBC: "There are no plans to introduce immunity passports for use domestically.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth told the programme he thinks Covid vaccine passports are "inevitable" for international travel and that some organisations domestically "are probably going to expect it".

"I don't think it should be compulsory," he told LBC.

"But I think the infrastructure should be put in place so that, if you've had a vaccination, you can have a sort of app on your phone or something like that to prove it."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

Covid report co-author: Test and trace system 'real failure' of pandemic

Covid report co-author: Test and trace system 'real failure' of pandemic

Business Sec: Supply chain crisis 'has nothing to do with Brexit'

Business Secretary: Supply chain crisis 'has nothing to do with Brexit'

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch in Full

Swarbrick on Sunday 10/10 | Watch again

'We've lacked a coherent energy policy probably for 20 years, I would say'

Green energy tycoon: We've lacked a coherent energy policy probably for 20 years

Policing Minister: 'Variety of lessons' can be learned in Everard murder inquiry

Policing Minister: 'Variety of lessons' can be learned in Everard murder inquiry

Donna Jones, head of policing for tackling violence against women and girls in England and Wales, told Swarbrick on Sunday she does not support calls for all officers to be re-vetted.

Officers should not be re-vetted in wake of Everard murder, police chief tells LBC

Former police officer tells LBC she was sexually harassed by colleagues

Former police officer tells LBC she was sexually harassed by colleagues

A leading meat industry boss said on Swarbrick on Sunday that turkey supplies will be short this Christmas.

Turkey shortages: Meat industry forced to go 'cold turkey' without EU labour

Exclusive
Oliver Dowden told Tom Swarbrick the fuel crisis is still a "major problem" in London and the South East.

Fuel shortages remain a 'major problem' in London and South-East, Tory chair tells LBC

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch in Full

Swarbrick on Sunday 03/10 | Watch in Full

Exclusive
'I'll have to sleep at work to keep surgery open': GP reveals impact of fuel panic on LBC

'I'll have to sleep at work to keep surgery open': GP reveals impact of fuel panic to LBC

Tory MP calls on retired HGV drivers to return to work to save Christmas

Tory MP calls on retired HGV drivers to return to work to save Christmas

John McDonnell has come to Angela Rayner's defence.

Rayner was 'expressing real emotion' and 'humanity' in Tory 'scum' rant, says McDonnell

Lisa Nandy was grilled on Tom Swarbrick's show about Angela Rayner's controversial comments.

Nandy refuses to defend Rayner after she blasts senior Tories as 'scum'

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch in Full

Swarbrick On Sunday 26/09 | Watch again

UK playing 'subsidiary role' in AUKUS pact, French diplomat insists

UK playing 'subsidiary role' in AUKUS pact, French diplomat insists