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Boris Johnson to hear concerns from Tory MPs over draconian Covid laws




Boris Johnson will face Tory MPs on Tuesday in a bid to calm unease over his exit from the lockout ahead of House of Commons votes on the plan.

The Prime Minister will address the Conservative backbench committee of 1922 to defend the government’s approach, which will see some restrictions remain in place in England until at least June 21.

On Thursday, MPs will be asked to approve the roadmap settlement and extend some of the emergency powers of the coronavirus law for six months.

Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper, head of the Covid Recovery Group of lockdown-skeptics, said the settlement raised a number of key questions and again suggested ministers try to move the poles before lifting the restrictions to freedom.

Allegra Stratton defended the strategy (Dominic Lipinski / PA)

Allegra Stratton defended the strategy (Dominic Lipinski / PA)

The Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said: As you can imagine, the Prime Minister uses every opportunity when he meets his Conservative MPs to make his case.

She said Mr Johnson believed it was a cautious roadmap but, if we did it right, irreversible, which would take time due to the need to assess the impact of each measure.

The government’s plan would see shops and beer bars open on April 12 at the earliest, with indoor hospitality allowed from May 17 if all goes according to plan and the final stages of the lockdown being lifted on the 21st. June.

So taking the time to do it the way we do, with the five-week review points (between stages), means we are sure at all times that loosening is the right thing to do, Ms Stratton said. .

That’s why he takes his time, because we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing.

In a move that could convince Conservative MPs worried about continuing the coronavirus law, the government has indicated it will remove or suspend measures that are no longer needed.

They include provisions on emergency volunteers that could have come into force if the delivery of health services were threatened and the end of an extension of the retention periods for fingerprints and DNA profiles.

Conservative leadership race

Mark Harper is the leader of the Tory anti-lockdown rebels (Stefan Rousseau / PA)

But Mr. Harper said the roadmap regulations expire on June 30, rather than June 21, and as minor as that may sound, it could add to fears that the targets are being misplaced.

The planned six-month extension of the coronavirus law was in fundamental contradiction to the roadmap as it would go well beyond the June date.

The coronavirus law contains some of the most draconian detention powers in modern British legal history, and if ministers are to renew its provisions, they must demonstrate that they are proportionate, reasonable and evidence-based, he said. -he declares.

For any temporary measure that the government wishes to retain, it is incumbent upon it to present a very clear justification to Parliament.

The measures are likely to pass comfortably, as Labor is not supposed to oppose it.

But Mr. Harper said: Regardless of how Parliament votes this week on the temporary provisions of the coronavirus law, the financial support programs will still remain in place.

So I hope that the opposition will start to ask reasonable questions about why important police powers are going to be extended until October, three months after the end of the roadmap.

If the government wants parliament to pass a law on Thursday banning families from celebrating Easter together, ministers should be ready to say they want these laws systematically monitored and enforced.

It is damaging to pass laws that are not enforced and it is unfair to put the police in an impossible situation.

Mr Johnson warned on Monday that a third wave of cases in Europe could cross the Channel to the UK.

Mr Harper said: Case rates in the EU are worrying, of course, because the EU, unfortunately, has not been as successful as us in vaccinating EU citizens.

But the whole point of vaccinating people at such speed is to prevent Covid infections from causing serious illness, hospitalizations and death.

Lockdowns and restrictions seriously damage the health, well-being and livelihoods of people and it is vital that we end them as soon as it is safe to do so.

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