The Liberal Democrats are the only political party across the UK to stand in opposition to “unworkable, expensive” Covid vaccine certificates, Sir Ed Davey has said. 

The party leader spoke at a joint conference of the Scottish and Welsh Liberal Democrats highlighting that all other parties had contrasting approaches across British Isles, apart from his own. 

The coronavirus vaccine certification scheme was launched in Scotland at the start of October but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had to apologise for problems with the app,

It means nightclubs and large events will only be able to allow entry to people who can show they have had two doses of a Covid vaccine.

While the law came into effect from 1 October, but it will not be formally enforced until October 18 to give venues time to test out their procedures.

 

Wales is also bringing in a similar scheme, due to launch on Monday. 

 

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.

Sir Ed said 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”.

HeraldScotland:

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.”

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.

Sir Ed said: “They’re not just incompetent. These Conservatives are cruel."

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”.

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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.”