So, back we go to the divisive topic of vaccine passports once more. Scotland was due to introduce them on October 1st – tomorrow. But like everything else with this policy, it’s been rushed through without a thought for the consequences.
Firstly, they were announced just three weeks ago and voted through by Sturgeon’s SNP stooges shortly afterwards. And then with just two days to go, the Scottish First Minister confirms there will be a “staged approach” – the policy will begin on October 1st, but enforcement won’t begin until October 18th. She must think the people of Scotland are idiots.
Sturgeon made it sound like she was being kind, saying “This grace period will allow businesses to test, adapt and build confidence in the practical arrangements they will need to put in place to be compliant with the scheme. The pragmatic compromise that I have just outlined in relation to a staged introduction of the scheme demonstrates, I hope, that we are listening to business about the practical challenges they face – and that we are determined to work with them to overcome these.”
In reality? The Scottish government is facing a legal challenge from the Night Time Industries Association on the subject. They made clear when England was pursuing this policy – later rested, but not officially dropped – that they weren’t happy with what was on the table.
And they won’t be best pleased by the words “listening to business” either. The NTIA say they’ve been talking to the Scottish government about this for the past two months, but have got nowhere. Hence this bizarre attempt at the eleventh hour to try and pacify them with a grace period.
Yes, the Night Time Industries Association are pursuing this legal action out of self-interest – but given the controversy vaccine passports have caused elsewhere in the world, nobody should be surprised. And with Wales due to introduce a similar policy from October 11th, I suspect Cardiff will be watching this closely…