Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer visit the West Country

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Both the Prime Minister and the Labour leader have spent the day in the West Country. 

Sir Keir Starmer questioned the potential use of vaccine passports to help reopen the hospitality sector, while Boris Johnson said he was looking forward to pubs and shops reopening next week - and that will not involve certificates.

Sir Keir was in Plymouth and started his day by meeting engineering apprentices from Babcock.

He said: "The projects that can be built in Britain are built in Britain and for Plymouth that really matters, that is the future generation of jobs, it is the jobs  for those apprentices that we saw this morning."

He also visited City College's New Ocean's Gate Marine Centre which when it opens later this year promises to be a hub for marine industries.

The Prime Minister, meanwhile, was in Cornwall.

He was hitting the campaign trail in Truro and, as he arrived at the county's airport, he was asked for more clarification about vaccine passports.

He did not discount it entirely, but said there are no immediate plans.

"I am going to be talking to some of the shopkeepers," he said.

"Nobody is going to need any kind of certificate to go into a shop but clearly it is going to be responsible for any Government to look at the possibility of making sure that we can continue to open up all sectors of the economy in a safe way."

Vaccine passports are a contentious issue. While the Government suggests they may be one solution to look at in the future, the Liberal Democrats oppose them.

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse said: "We as Liberal Democrats believe that this balance is exactly not struck in the right way and infringes and opposes on our civil liberties in a way that is not proportionate to the level of threat from the disease."

Sir Keir Starmer said the Government's current plans for vaccine passports are unworkable.

He explained: "Pregnant women are told not to get vaccination, what are they to do? To come to a premises to go out for a meal and then prove that they are pregnant?

"People who are trying for a baby are told not to have a vaccine, younger people haven't been offered a vaccine and some of our communities are reluctant or lacking the confidence to come forward so there are going to be huge problems with the Government's plans.

"What I would say to everybody in the south west is the way through this is to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated."


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