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Boris Johnson ‘regrets’ allowing decentralized nations to exercise Covid-19 powers




Boris Johnson. Photo by Kuhlmann / MSC (CC BY 3.0 DE).

Boris Johnson “ regrets ” allowing decentralized nations to exercise the powers of Covid-19, it has been reported.

According to The sun, The British Prime Minister was urged last March by Cabinet ministers to use broad civilian contingency powers to exclude the Welsh and Scottish governments from the pandemic response.

Johnson was told he would have to rely on the apocalyptic Civil Contingencies Act 2004 which gave Whitehall supreme authority in the event of a catastrophic emergency.

It is understood that Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg placed particular emphasis on using radical law rather than drafting a new law for Covid that coincided with the 1984 Public Health Act.

Instead, Johnson used the public health laws of the 1980s to answer because health matters are decentralized. This meant Edinburgh and Cardiff had the option to go their own way in response.

A cabinet minister told the newspaper it would be done “differently next time” and “the prime minister knew it”.

However, at the time the decision was made, Downing Street feared that extreme civil emergency powers would have to be approved by MPs every 30 days, as the drafting of a new law gave them control over it. emergency for a whole year.

Johnson instead created the Coronavirus Act 2020 which also gave the police massive powers, suspended elections and paved the way for the holiday program.

However, Downing Street insiders have reportedly been blinded by what they see as the fragmented response to the virus in the UK’s four countries.

It is frustrating that Wales and Scotland have been able to define their own lockdown measures and relax timetables accordingly.


Whitehall was enraged by the Scottish Prime Minister’s criticism of the British government’s response to England.

There is also discontent because Nicola Sturgeon’s votes have skyrocketed during the pandemic.

A former aide who left the UK government said The sun: At the time, I think everyone just thought there would be a common response across the country and we didn’t really think at the time that it would erupt.

“But obviously that turned out to be wrong and was pretty naïve.

A cabinet minister said: I am sure it will be done differently next time. The Prime Minister knows it.

Others around the cabinet table agree, but another added that “hindsight is a wonderful thing”.

They insisted, “It was crazy back then, so no one is to blame.”

When asked if Mr Johnson has any regrets, Downing Street said a personalized Covid law was needed because their response to the crisis was so broad.

A UK government spokesperson said: Without the coronavirus law, the most crucial support and interventions such as the leave scheme and people claiming statutory sick pay and other benefits would not have been able to continue during the pandemic, as well as other public services, especially virtual ones. court hearings.

The added: It also provided important parliamentary oversight.

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