The NTIA is disappointed to note that the First minister has today in Parliament stated that vaccine passports are proceeding.
The NTIA have, along with the other sectoral trade bodies, been engaged in dialogue with the government over the last 3 weeks, and whilst, unfortunately, that dialogue has not in any way resembled a meaningful consultation between government and the sector, we remain ready to work with Scottish Government should they choose to take on board the sector’s concerns and work collaboratively to find a better and more deliverable solution.
This vaccine passport scheme as currently proposed raises serious issues with definition, market distortion, discrimination, resource allocation and economic impact amongst others, and had the Scottish Government been prepared to work with sectoral experts in the earliest stages of policy formulation some of these deep-rooted problems may have been avoidable.
It is also clear to us that the policy as currently proposed is neither proportionate, nor represents the lowest level of intervention possible to achieve the public health imperative, and it is, therefore, likely to be unlawful. Regrettably then, and given the serious flaws in the policy as proposed, we have now instructed our legal team to commence proceedings against the Scottish Government with a legal challenge to vaccination passports.
We had hoped that the recent evidence of rapidly falling cases might provide the government with the incentive to look again and take the sector’s concerns into account, and to engage in meaningful consultation where government and businesses could work together and design solutions that both address our shared goal of reducing the harms from Covid and are also deliverable. Unfortunately, this has not happened, however, we remain willing to work with the Scottish Government on any policy which both achieves our shared goals and also allows businesses to remain economically viable.