All four nations must agree when lockdown is lifted
All four UK Governments must agree how and when lockdown is lifted, Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts MP has said to the First Secretary of State Dominic Raab MP in a cross-party meeting this morning.
London has consistently been highlighted as significantly ahead of other regions of England, as well as the other nations of the UK. With the lockdown implemented on a UK wide basis, Ms Saville Roberts sought clarification as to whether it will be lifted on the same basis, noting that Wales could face considerable risks if there were any relaxation of a lock-down in England while the ‘peak’ had not been reached in Wales.
Ms Saville Roberts MP said that it was vital that all four nations agree any lockdown exit strategy and, if necessary, maintain the lock-down in England until all four nations agree that the peak infection period have passed everywhere.
The Plaid Cymru MP also raised concerns about continued issues in relation to the procurement, management and distribution of testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Following the meeting, Liz Saville Roberts MP said:
“This morning’s meeting with the First Secretary of State was a welcome opportunity to question the UK Government on its next steps in response to the Coronavirus crisis. Opposition leaders did so robustly, but always with the intention of ensuring the best possible outcome for public health.
“Perhaps the overriding concern is when and how lockdown is lifted. The UK Government continues to focus on the passage of the ‘peak’ of the outbreak, however I have serious concerns as to how this is measured. In particular, whether differences across the four different nations and regions of England are taken into account – especially when it comes to a decision on any change to the social distancing measures.
“It was a UK-wide lockdown and it should be a decision for all of the four governments of the UK as to when and how it is lifted. If any of those administrations has concerns about restrictions being lifted they should be maintained across the four nations.
“If the lockdown is lifted in one nation or region because it has passed the ‘peak’ not only will we see confusion, but the potential movement of people around the UK which in turn could lead to greater infection rates and more importantly unnecessary pressures on local healthcare services.
“We cannot take any unnecessary risks - this is not about constitutional politics, it is about saving people’s lives.”