EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: We need to find a way of living as safely as we can with covid

This week Parliament was recalled to debate and vote on the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill and further coronavirus restrictions.

By Emma Lewell-Buck
Thursday, 31st December 2020, 12:00 am
Government should focus on supporting our NHS, implementing a functioning testing and tracking system and supporting people with isolation payments as well as other measures.
Government should focus on supporting our NHS, implementing a functioning testing and tracking system and supporting people with isolation payments as well as other measures.

Shamefully the Government also want to extend Parliament recess to 11 th January, this is a smack in the face to all key workers and I voted against it.

Constituents know that since the referendum, I used my time in Parliament to work cross party to secure and indeed vote for a deal. It should therefore come as no surprise that I voted for this deal.

The deal isn’t perfect, but it has been approved by all member states and it is the only deal on offer.

There have been so many missed opportunities for compromise and consensus

over the last four and a half years that have led us to this point.

Not voting for a deal at this stage when the transition period is coming to an end will not risk no deal, it will mean no deal.

This deal belongs to the Tories, they need to own it and I will hold them to account for it.

Coronavirus continues to cost lives and livelihoods; it is expected that South Shields will move to Tier 4.

I again voted against further restrictions. The Government’s reckless approach is not working, previous lockdowns and tiering haven’t worked, voting with them or abstaining allows them to continue making the same mistakes.

For the public to have confidence that further restrictions will work they need to be accompanied by the Government focussing less on PR vanity projects (such as the Nightingales), less on handing out lucrative public contracts to their friends and less on false promises regarding when the virus will be gone.

Coronavirus will be with us for a long time, we need to find a way of living safely as possible with it. The Government should focus on supporting our NHS, implementing a functioning testing and tracking system, supporting people with

isolation payments, a rise in sick pay as well as clear public health messaging and a realistic vaccination strategy.

With news of another vaccine being approved I sincerely hope 2021 is a better year for us all.