Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:26 pm on 14th December 2020.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 7:26 pm, 14th December 2020

The hon. Gentleman could not have put it better. I am the chair of the all-party group on coronavirus. We launched a report a couple of weeks ago, and as part of that launch I said that, as much as we all feel the need to be with our families, what the Government are doing by relaxing the restrictions is a bit of a gamble, because we do not know which way the virus is going to go. I am sorry to say that every time that I have stood up in this place and suggested that there might be a spike in a few weeks’ time, people have said, “Oh no, stop being such a naysayer. It’s not going to happen.” We have to accept that every time we think that we have got one over on this virus, it wins.

At this point, it seems inevitable that we are going to face a further spike in January and that we are going to go up in tiers, but it does not have to be that way. The Government could follow what other Governments have done across Europe and be honest with the public about the likely outcome, making the point that they do not have to use the relaxed restrictions. Actually, because of where we are now, I think it is time for the Government to rethink those Christmas relaxations. I say that with deep regret.