Lib Dems are the ‘principled’ opposition to Covid vaccine passports – Davey
The Liberal Democrats are the only party in the UK to stand in “clear and principled” opposition to “unworkable, expensive” Covid vaccine certificates, the party’s leader has insisted.
Sir Ed Davey used his speech to a joint conference of the Scottish and Welsh Liberal Democrats to highlight his party’s stance against what he branded “Covid ID cards”
It comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had to apologise for problems with the app for the coronavirus vaccine certification scheme which was launched in Scotland at the start of October.
The new measure requires people going to nightclubs, concerts, some football matches and other large events to prove they have received two doses of coronavirus vaccine.
Wales is also bringing in a similar scheme, due to launch on Monday October 11.
Sir Ed told the virtual conference: “Liberal Democrats have always been clear. Covid ID cards are unworkable, expensive and illiberal.”
The Lib Dem leader insisted such schemes were “not a real solution” and would “place an unfair extra burden on local businesses who’ve been through so much already”.
Liberal Democrats have adopted a “principled response” to them across the United Kingdom.
And he contrasted this approach with those of the other parties, saying the Conservatives were “pressing ahead” with plans for vaccine passports in England while at the same time opposing them in Scotland and Wales.
Meanwhile he said: “Labour aren’t sure where they stand in England, but they oppose them in Scotland, and are bringing them in in Wales, and they even required Covid ID cards for their own party conference in Brighton.”
The Scottish Greens had “seemed to oppose them” until a co-operation agreement with the SNP took them into government at Holyrood, and then “the Greens voted for them”.
Sir Ed insisted: “It’s only been us – the Liberal Democrats – with clear principles across the United Kingdom, taking a clear and principled position that unites our party across England, Scotland and Wales.”
They’re not just incompetent. These Conservatives are cruel.
The Liberal Democrat leader also used his speech to hit out at Boris Johnson’s “cruel” Conservatives after the UK Government reduced Universal Credit payments by £20 a week, despite criticism from the other parties and anti-poverty campaigners.
He accused the Tories of “slashing the incomes of millions of hard-pressed working families by £1,000 a year with their cut to Universal Credit” at the same time when food bills and heating bills are rising.
Sir Ed said: “They’re not just incompetent. These Conservatives are cruel.
“And the contrast between their policies, their conference and ours, between our party that truly cares about people’s lives, and this Prime Minister who clearly doesn’t… the contrast could not be starker.”
This, Sir Ed added, was a “reminder of why we have to win more votes and more seats at the next general election, and get Boris Johnson out of Downing Street and his Conservatives out of Government”.
He also attacked the Labour administration in Wales and the SNP government in Scotland, saying both of them had “mismanaged the NHS so badly that they’ve had to call in the army to drive ambulances”.
Sir Ed insisted: “Our country needs us too, because we need the Liberal Democrats to stand up and protect our precious union, our family of nations.
“Our liberal values – of community and internationalism, of openness and tolerance – they are the antidote to the nationalists in Scotland, Wales and England who divide people and who threaten to tear our union apart.”
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