Coronavirus: Labor Party Calls for Lockout Exit Strategy This Week


Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer

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PA Media


Sir Keir Starmer calls for more transparency

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer is urging the government to publish a strategy to exit the coronavirus lockout this week.

The government is expected to announce an extension of the lockdown on Thursday.

Sir Keir said Labor would support such a move, but the government should be more open about the date and the end of it.

The government has said that talking about an exit before the virus reaches its peak may confuse the public.

In a letter to Dominic Raab, who succeeds Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he continues his recovery from the coronavirus, Sir Keir offered Labor’s support for an extension.

But he said, “The question for Thursday is therefore no longer whether the foreclosure should be extended, but what the government’s position is on how and when it can be eased in a timely manner and on what criteria this decision will be made. “

“Silent pressures”

Millions have “played their part” and made sacrifices, he added, and “in return, the government must be open and transparent with the public about how it thinks the lock will loosen and finally end. “

Sir Keir warned that “silent pressures” on communities across the UK “could not be underestimated”, and said that to keep morale high and hopeful “people need to know what is going to follow “

He urged Raab to commit to defining the criteria the government will use to indicate how and when it intends to facilitate the foreclosure.

And he called on the government to publish an exit strategy now or in the week to come; and describe the sectors and basic public services most likely to see the restrictions relaxed.

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Stephen Powis and Rishi Sunak at Tuesday’s press conference

A government source said, “Our strategy is to save lives. We have made it clear that all decisions will be guided by advice and science.

“Talking about an exit strategy before we reach the top risks confusing the critical message that people must stay at home in order to protect our NHS and save lives. “

“High compliance”

The government had previously indicated that work was underway on a plan to lift the restrictions, but no details have been released.

Speaking earlier at the daily Downing Street press conference, Chancellor Rishi Sunak stressed that the government’s priority would remain to save lives.

And he warned that the government would not be able to protect all British businesses and all households during the pandemic, but if the ministers had not taken the action they had, “the situation would be much worse”.

NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said at the press conference that levels of compliance with the lockout among the public were “very high” and that this was starting to have an impact on hospital admissions ,

“We have to continue this way. We absolutely have to make sure that we continue to reap the benefits and that we don’t let go, we don’t become complacent, ”he added.

This comes as the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted that the UK economy could shrink 35% between April and June, while unemployment rises by more than two million.

But he predicted a sharp rebound, with GDP expected to jump 25% in the third quarter and an additional 20% in the last three months of 2020.

The watchdog based his calculations on a three-month lockout followed by a three-month partial lifting.


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