FOR a country that does not have an identity card, we are pretty keen on checking each other’s identity – in many places, you need to show a photocard like your driving licence just to pick up a parcel.

The introduction of a vaccine passport opens huge ethical and medical issues. The British, as Keir Starmer suggests, will be instinctively against it but it in its earliest form, it is already with us – everyone as they are vaccinated is given a grey-blue card, the size of a credit card, telling them which vaccination they have had.

The pandemic has killed off antiquated things like cash and even credit cards which have been replaced by the mobile phone. Many people already have an NHS app on their phone which could easily carry vaccination and testing information.

So many of us are already carrying prototype vaccination passports, whether we like it or not.

The Government must now be on the front foot to ensure the security of those passports – they will be meaningless if they can be easily forged – and also to ensure that the English version will be acceptable across the UK and the EU.

It needs to work out how those who cannot have the vaccination for medical reasons are handled and then, most difficult of all, what its uses will be: just for international travel, or for entry to your local pub?

We cannot hide from this debate just because we don’t like the concept. Just as a driving licence has turned into a de facto identity card so a vaccination passport will, in some form, become just another of those things we carry with us.