Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Craig of Radley Lord Craig of Radley Crossbench 4:45 pm, 14th October 2020

My Lords, people in tier 2 must know how they might move into tier 1 or tier 3, but what warnings of that should they expect to receive? I welcome the three-tier approach but it will lack acceptance if the guidance and rules on how any switch between tiers will be decided are not known. It is time to be open about how decisions on tiers or changing tiers will be reached, forewarned and kept under review.

This is a national emergency of unprecedented impact on everyone, young or old, rich or poor, and of every ethnic group. It is tragic that political parties and regional administrations are not working united on a national basis. Is it too late to press anew for such an approach? Faced with a long winter of stress and worry, and restrictive lockdowns for many in all parts of the UK, has not the time come to tackle this pandemic nationally and put aside the practices and instincts of partisanship and regional autonomy?

The pandemic has been likened to an enemy of the whole country that has to be fought and conquered. That calls for a united, national response. Common sense and a nationally agreed strategy, backed by the vast majority of citizens, whatever their political persuasion, are required. Will the Government seek such a solution? Will all parties and regional administrations, just for once, agree to work together in harmony? Such a lead and response would go far in reassuring the public and give them hope and optimism that the country will successfully see off this pandemic. Without such a strategy, the danger of increasing frustration, and deep worries about health and livelihoods through the dark winter months ahead, and maybe through much of 2021, may lead to growing public disquiet and unrest.