Britons could be plunged into lockdowns in the future by World Health Organization (WHO) bosses, MPs fear.
Major new powers being considered by the UN agency would force all member states – including Britain, the US and Australia – to comply with any rules imposed during pandemics.
Such measures may include measures deployed to contain the spread of Covid, such as vaccine passports and border closures.
Member States would also have to use 5% of health budgets to prepare for another pandemic, if the controversial proposal gets the go-ahead.
WHO bosses are now phasing out the proposed amendments before a vote next spring will decide whether they will take effect.
The UN health agency could order the government to impose quarantine rules, impose vaccine passports and close borders, if a draft update to its powers is approved. Pictured: WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
A letter from six Tory MPs, led by MP for Tatton Esther McVey (pictured), calls for a vote in the House of Commons on the draft before it is signed
Six Conservative MPs have written to the State Department requesting that any new powers that would allow the WHO to dictate UK policy and funding be blocked.
Former Cabinet Secretary Esther McVey warned that the group, dubbed “China’s puppet” by detractors, will transition from a member-led advisory body to a health authority with coercive powers;
The additional capabilities are part of an amendment to the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005, which contain requirements for the 194 member nations to plan for and respond to outbreaks and other public health hazards.
After the Covid pandemic revealed that the IHR “needs to be improved, member nations sought over 300 revisions, according to the WHO.
At the same time, the agency is also working on a pandemic preparedness treaty.
WHO leaders say both tools will make the world safer from health threats amid fears another crisis is looming.
But among the 308 proposed changes to the IHR are proposals to create a “legally binding” response to public health emergencies.
This amendment, proposed by African countries, argues that the current wording of the IHL — that countries ‘should’ respond to health risks — is ‘weak’.
If the move is given the green light, WHO could decide how countries respond to outbreaks, such as imposing vaccine passports, quarantine rules and restrictions on movement.
At a four-day meeting in April, WHO discussed a third of the proposed amendments, while being “aware” of the “equality, sovereignty and solidarity” of each nation.
The IHL Working Group will meet again in July, October and December and will agree on a package of amendments to be presented to the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May 2024, where a majority of member states will decide whether to adopt them.
The updated IHR would then enter into force for all Member States within a year, unless a country submits a rejection.
And in July there will be a meeting on the “supplementary” pandemic treaty, which stipulates that all countries are expected to spend no less than five percent of their budget on improving their pandemic preparedness.
However, a letter from Tory MPs, led by Ms McVey, calls for a vote in the House of Commons on the draft before it is signed.
The letter, seen by The Telegraphstates that there are ‘growing concerns’ about both IHL and the treaty.
Mrs McVey said: “The plans represent a major shift for the organization from a member-led advisory body to a health authority with coercive powers.
“This is particularly concerning when you consider WHO’s poor track record of providing consistent, clear and scientifically sound advice for managing international disease outbreaks.”
The WHO has come under repeated fire during the pandemic for its steadfast defense of China.
This included parroting Beijing’s dismissal that the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In the earliest days of the outbreak, WHO Director Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus went so far as to praise Beijing’s “commitment to transparency,” which he called “incomprehensible.”
Around the same time, the Communist Party began censoring public information about the spread of the virus and its possible origins, suggesting at one point that US troops may have been the first carriers.
The letter was co-signed by Tory MPs Sir John Redwood, David Davis, Philip Davies, Sir Christopher Chope and Danny Kruger, according to the newspaper.
Andrew Mitchell, foreign secretary and MP for Sutton Coldfield, told the newspaper he would support a WHO treaty that would speed up data sharing on pathogens that could cause an outbreak, so countries could “respond quickly.”
“It is clear that we would never agree to anything that exceeds our points of principle about sovereignty or prevents the UK from taking decisive action against future pandemics,” he added.
A WHO spokesperson said: “As with pandemic deal negotiations, this is a process led by sovereign states and the WHO Secretariat is facilitating the negotiations.
“As with all international instruments, any changes to IHL, if and when agreed upon by member states, would be determined by governments themselves, which would act in accordance with their own national laws and regulations.”
Britain could be thrown into another lockdown in future… by the World Health Organization!