Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:49 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education) 3:49 pm, 13th October 2020

The idea that a Government can change a policy without having implications for public behaviour is absurd. That is why the behavioural science group exists to advise SAGE and has advised the Government on this point. What is worse is that we knew that the Government were advised to close everything down for two weeks and they did not, suggesting that the curfew was just a feeble attempt to look as though they were trying to do something. The Government are so desperate not to accept that they got it wrong, or to suffer a defeat, that even if the House votes down the curfew in the seventh vote tonight, it has already been incorporated into the package of measures in the first three votes, which will introduce the three tiers from tomorrow. The Government have provided no opportunity for Opposition MPs to amend them so that we can improve public health and outcomes for businesses. The Government had the opportunity to persuade the public and Opposition MPs with clear evidence, but they have squandered that, choosing instead coercion and control. It is outrageous that local government leaders, business leaders and Members of this House have had to fight tooth and nail for weeks to see the evidence behind Government measures that are threatening lives and livelihoods in our communities. It is an outrageous abuse of power and it must stop. There is a sickness of secrecy at the heart of this Government, and it can be cured only by some radical transparency.