New powers could potentially plunge Britain, the US and Australia into lockdown measures at the whim of the World Health Organization, it was claimed today.
The UN agency – heavily criticised for how it handled Covid – is considering 300 amendments to its legally-binding rulebook.
One measure floated, MPs and campaigners fear, opens the door for member states to be made to comply with any advice issued during future pandemics, such as enforcing vaccine passports and border closures.
It states that countries vow to ‘undertake to follow WHO’s recommendations in their international public health response’.
Critics today described the proposal – which still has to be voted on before ever cropping up in real-world policy – as an ‘unprecedented land grab’.
Member states would also have to use 5 per cent of health budgets on preparing for another pandemic if controversial proposals are given the go ahead.
Six Tory MPs have now written to the Foreign Office, demanding it blocks any new powers that could see the WHO dictate policy and budgets in the UK.
Ex-Cabinet minister Esther McVey warned the powers would see the organisation, described as China’s puppet by critics, move from a ‘member-led advisory body to a health authority with powers of compulsion’.
In response to the fears, the Government insisted it ‘would never agree to anything that crosses our points of principle on sovereignty’.
Molly Kingsley, founder of UsForThem, which campaigned against school closures and masks in classrooms during the pandemic, said: ‘The Government have come back and said, well actually we’re quite worried too.
‘And they’re right to be because this is a really, really unprecedented land grab by the WHO.’