Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:38 pm on 13th October 2020.

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Photo of Chris Loder Chris Loder Conservative, West Dorset 5:38 pm, 13th October 2020

I pay tribute to the Minister and his colleagues for all the hard work they are doing at this time.

I fully understand, as the Member for West Dorset, a very rural seat, that many colleagues in the House represent constituencies that have far more difficult situations with coronavirus than I and my neighbours in Dorset. I know full well that Ministers in the Cabinet will be treading the difficult line between public health and safety and the economy. However, in my constituency, I have 100,000 residents, 400 geographical square miles, 132 parishes, 117 pubs, and two people who are poorly in hospital with coronavirus symptoms. We are faced this evening with a motion that will in effect close our village pubs at 10 o’clock. That is deeply, deeply damaging to our community. It is putting hundreds and hundreds of jobs at risk. I have to ask the Minister and his colleagues to consider that this one-size-fits-all approach to the 10 pm curfew really is not right for rural parts of Britain such as mine, where it will be deeply damaging to the economy. Can I just ask the Minister and his colleagues to take this away? I shall have real difficulty supporting the Government on that this evening—real difficulty—and I very much ask him to see what can be done.