Covid-19: Employment Levels

Wales – in the House of Commons on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean

What discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the effect on levels of employment of the continuation of covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Wales.

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Assistant Whip

I have regular discussions with the Welsh Government on the effect of their lockdown restrictions on levels of employment in Wales. This Government are continuing to provide unprecedented support to businesses and employees in Wales, and as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales has already said, now is the time to look to reopen Wales and keep people in their jobs.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Conservative, Forest of Dean

I am grateful for that answer. The Minister will know that the rules on pubs and restaurants operating in Wales are currently more restrictive than those in England. Can I urge him to say to his constituents that, at least for the time being, if they want to attend pubs and restaurants safely, they are very welcome in the Forest of Dean to safeguard jobs and livelihoods?

In passing, I understand the First Minister is a great fan of cheese, in which case I can recommend Stinking Bishop from Dymock in my constituency, which Claudia Winkleman no less has christened the King of Cheese.

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Assistant Whip

My right hon. Friend and I agree on many things, but I might beg to differ over whether tourists should come to the Forest of Dean or to Wales. I want them to be welcomed in Wales, and I look forward to the Welsh Government reopening the tourism industry in Wales as quickly as possible to save the 160,000 jobs that depend on it.