Boris Johnson has spent the afternoon giving evidence to the Liaison Committee made up of select committee chairs. The Prime Minister was quizzed on a range of topics from the UK’s vaccination programme to Brexit issues for the music sector.
Here are five main takeaways from the session:
1. Vaccine passports could be needed to go to the pub
It wasn’t so long ago that ministers in Boris Johnson’s government were insisting that immunity certificates were most definitely not coming to the UK. How times have changed. Today Johnson said the ‘basic concept of vaccine certification should not be totally alien to us’. Asked whether pubs will be able to bar unvaccinated patrons in the future, Boris Johnson said it was a possibility: ‘I think that’s the kind of thing that may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord’. If venues ask for Covid certification, it could lead to a situation where those who have either not been offered a vaccine yet (the young) or those who have declined the offer could have to provide a negative Covid test to simply gain entry.
2. Johnson warns the EU over vaccine export ban
Although the Prime Minister suggested in Tuesday’s press conference that the UK would not partake in any vaccine wars even if the EU imposed an export ban, Johnson did have words of warning for Brussels today. Quizzed on the topic by Jeremy Hunt, the Prime Minister repeated his view that he doesn’t think ‘blockades of either vaccines or of medicines or ingredients for vaccines are sensible’, before adding that any country that opts for one could come to regret it as businesses could decide in the future not to locate there:
‘I would just gently say to anybody considering a blockade, or interruption of supply chains, that companies may look at such actions and and draw conclusions about whether or not it is sensible to make future investments in countries where arbitrary blockades are imposed.