Enforcing vaccine passports is ‘not a British way to behave’, Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned the Government.
The Leader of the Commons broke ranks to say the policy should only be considered for nightclubs, and even then only temporarily.
Other ministers, including Boris Johnson, have suggested the passports could be used for concerts, sports events, business conferences, busy bars and even workplaces.
Enforcing vaccine passports is ‘not a British way to behave’, Jacob Rees-Mogg (pictured) has warned the Government
In a sign of Government nervousness over the issue, sources yesterday confirmed that ministers have abandoned plans to make Covid vaccines compulsory for university students.
Mr Rees-Mogg said the Government had to consider the importance of preserving ‘ancient freedoms’, as well as controlling Covid.
‘We don’t want to get into a society where routinely people are expected to show their papers,’ he said.
‘That is not a British way to behave.’ His comments came as the Tory mutiny over vaccine passports continued to gather pace.
Andrew Bridgen, one of 43 Conservative MPs to sign a declaration opposing vaccine passports, yesterday said Parliament should be recalled from its summer recess if ministers are ‘serious’ about asking people to show proof of their vaccine status to gain entry to domestic venues and events.
Fellow Tory Bob Blackman said that even introducing vaccine passports for nightclubs would be a ‘slippery slope’.
Other ministers, including Boris Johnson (pictured), have suggested the passports could be used for concerts, sports events, business conferences, busy bars and even workplaces
Mr Blackman added: ‘When is a night club a pub or when is a pub a nightclub? If you start enforcing it in nightclubs, it will rapidly be enforced in pubs and restaurants.’ The call means cross-party backing is emerging for the Commons to return before September.
The PM has announced that he intends to change the rules in September so only those who are fully vaccinated can attend nightclubs. And last week Cabinet ministers Grant Shapps and Dominic Raab backed businesses operating so called ‘no jab, no job’ policies that only allow fully vaccinated people into the workforce.
But speaking on BBC Radio Four’s Any Questions, Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘We have an ancient right to go about our lawful business without being expected to prove who we are or what we’re doing to anybody… we should protect our ancient freedoms very carefully.’
And Tory grandee Sir David Lidington told Times Radio that introducing a ‘Government certificate of approval’ to access certain events would set a ‘dangerous precedent’.