Speaking as the SNP and Scottish Greens vote to introduce Covid ID cards in Scotland, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton condemned the decision and confirmed that his party will continue to campaign for their abolition.
In his speech in the debate, Mr Cole-Hamilton warned the government that given the potential for those who have been vaccinated to still transmit the virus, vaccine passports would give people a false sense of security
Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Scottish Liberal Democrats are fundamentally opposed to the introduction of mandatory vaccine certification on grounds both of ideology and of practicality.
“In particular I am dismayed that on such a fundamental recalibration of our civil liberties, the Government have failed to produce any substantive detail for the introduction of these measures.
“Practical problems seem to be endless and will affect virtually everyone. Business owners are left in the dark and will have to wait until the very last minute to discover whether they will have to ask for a Covid ID to their patrons. The system does not specify how it will handle those who received one or both doses outside Scotland, nor how it will handle the booster programme. It only leaves questions and confusion.
“For the first time citizens will be asked to provide private medical data to a stranger, who is not their clinician, if they want to enjoy access to venues and services in our society. We know that the vaccines don’t stop you getting Covid, nor do they stop you passing it on but asking that everyone present a certificate before entry to a nightclub or a sports ground could give people to feel a false sense of security.
“Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic, vaccine passports are not. If these illiberal Covid ID cards are introduced tonight, Liberals will immediately begin the campaign to see their abolition.”
On the Greens backing the introduction of Covid ID he added:
“I’m saddened by the Scottish Greens abandoning their previous principled opposition to this illiberal policy.
“Despite just days’ notice, no proposed end date to the use of these passports and an open door to their expansion, the Greens will tonight act as midwives to a policy that sets our country on a disturbing and illiberal course.”