Opposition from the retail trade came as 41 Tory MPs vowed to oppose the certificates. The rebellion could wipe out Boris Johnson’s majority in the Commons, forcing the prime minister to turn to his parliamentary opponents to push through one of his most controversial Corona virus policies.
“While Covid status certification may play an important role in certain activities, such as international travel, our members are clear that it would not be appropriate or useful in a retail setting,” said Helen Dickinson, the chief executive of the BRC (British Retail Consortium).
“It is hard to imagine when and where the ‘passport’ would be checked and by whom. For instance, small independent retailers could not afford security staff on the door if that was the requirement.”
“I don’t think the government knows what its plan is,” Starmer said.
“One day it’s to cover pubs, the next day it’s not; one day it’s a vaccine passport, the next day it’s a certificate; one day it’s a certificate, the next day it’s a test.
“We’ve seen this before with test, track and isolate: grand plans that don’t deliver, cost a fortune and very often land with contracts to friends and colleagues of the Conservative party. We’ve seen too much of that cronyism so we do not support these plans in their current forms.”
The SNP, the third biggest party in parliament, also signalled it was minded to vote against introducing Covid status certificates.
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