The government risks undermining public trust by introducing new coronavirus rules at the same time as pushing forward plans to violate international law, a public health expert told Sky News.
Dr Gabriel Scally, a visiting professor of public health at the University of Bristol, compared the presentation of “the sixth rule“this week and the government ‘s intention to overlap the UK Brexit withdrawal agreement.
Social gatherings of more than six people are now illegal in England. People face fines of up to 200 3,200 if they do not adhere to the new measure, which aims to curb an increase in Covida-19 cases.
Meanwhile, the government is battling a storm of criticism in Westminster and European capitals after accepting it. new Brexit legislation plans to pass may represent a violation of international law.
Dr Scally, also a member of the independent group of SAGE scientists who work together to provide independent scientific advice on COVID-19, told Sky News that people losing trust in government about the pandemic was a “huge risk” , big, big “.
“If the test and the trail do not work, if they see the government trying, for example, to say that people should go back to the offices, should re-populate the high streets and spend their money – but at the same time “Viral numbers are rising and they are not dealing with it effectively – it destroys trust,” he said.
Making a comparison between Monday’s introduction of the “sixth rule” and the latest Brexit line, Dr Scally added: “I think what the government is proposing about enforcing this legally with COVID marshals and fines and so on on the other hand, the other big story you have dealt with today has to do with the government seeking to break a law.
“This contradiction is obvious to the people and I think the government is in danger of undermining trust.
“It is not the individuals – it is the government that must take its action together.”
Dr Scally said the “sixth rule” would not “put the virus back in the cans” but “could keep it under a bit of control”.
“I do not think the answer is complete and I am somewhat surprised that the government has not pursued some alternatives such as returning to the two-meter rule, which seemed to me to be extremely sensitive,” he added.
“Also, it really needs to do something about resolving the mournful NHS system and tracking system.”
Former Labor leader Ed Miliband, now the party’s shadow business secretary, also criticized the government’s admission that it could violate international Brexit law while introducing new COVID-19 restrictions.
“Think about the day we are in today, the sixth rule,” he told Sky News.
“[Home Secretary] Priti Patel is writing in the newspapers saying that it is very important that people respect these rules according to the letters and the spirit.
“It is Prit’s right to do so. But how can we say, on the one hand,” you must obey the law, “which we all say – rightly so – as lawmakers.
“Then the government comes together and says’ it ‘s okay for us to break the law because it’ s in a specific and limited way.”
“We can’t have it.”
Government ministers have insisted that the UK Home Affairs Bill is “critical” to ensure unrestricted entry of goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK, as well as to defend the Good Friday Agreement.
Home Secretary Kit Malthouse told Sky News that the legislation is needed as a “security policy” in case the UK is left in a position after the Brexit transition period where food exports from the UK to Northern Ireland “become illegal”.
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