Covid-style lockdowns to be imposed on UK by WHO under new treaty
Published: 26/05/2023- 11:06
Updated: 26/05/2023- 11:44
Lockdown measures could be imposed on Britain by the World Health Organisation (WHO) during future pandemics under new powers, MPs fear.
Member states would have to follow instructions by the agency when responding to pandemics which could see the introduction of vaccine passports, border closures and quarantine measures under a draft update to its regulations.
The new “pandemic treaty” proposals mean Britain would be required to spend five per cent of its health budget on preparing for another virus outbreak.
MPs have fears over plans to increase the WHO’s powers which would see countries required to hand over the recipe of vaccines, regardless of intellectual property rights, and to counter misinformation.
The new 'pandemic treaty' proposals mean Britain would be required to spend five per cent of its health budget on preparing for another virus outbreak
Conservative MPs have written to ministers to warn of an “ambition evident…for the WHO to transition from an advisory organisation to a controlling international authority”.
In their letter they urge the Foreign Office to block powers that “appear to intrude materially into the UK’s ability to make its own rules and control its own budgets”.
The rule changes have been proposed as part of plans to update the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHRs) following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on GB News, Christopher Chope, MP for Christchurch and East Dorset said: "My principal concern is there's a move of foot within the WHO to transform it from being an advisory body to a one which is able to compel members to behave in a particular way and that will completely change the character of the organisation."
In response, he said: "We've only got one organisation that leads on maintaining the planetary health. The WHO is the only body we have from the United Nations and if you wish to recreate a WHO, it may be a lot worse than what we've already got.
"When a pandemic of this ilk, like we've just had, strikes we've got to be prepared and we've got to be prepared internationally. We've had international care regulations.
"However those international regulations were never properly followed and what is proposed is a better corporation between the states so that we respond better and support each other."
The treaty was first proposed by world leaders during the pandemic and was initially designed to improve alert systems, data-sharing and the production of vaccines to “foster an all of government and all of society approach”.
The treaty was first proposed by world leaders during the pandemic and was initially designed to improve alert systems, data-sharing and the production of vaccines
Six conservative MPs led by GB News presenter Esther McVey have written to Mitchell to call for a Commons vote on the draft treaty.
“There is, rightly, growing concern about the WHO’s Pandemic Treaty and International Health Regulations," she told the Telegraph.
“The plans represent a significant shift for the organisation, from a member-led advisory body to a health authority with powers of compulsion.
“This is particularly worrying when you consider the WHO’s poor track record on providing consistent, clear and scientifically sound advice for managing international disease outbreaks.”