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MPs Will Vote On Whether To Extend Lockdown Powers This Week

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MPs Will Vote On Whether To Extend Lockdown Powers This Week

Members of Parliament are set to vote this week on whether to extend the government's lockdown powers until October.

The Coronavirus Act was a piece of emergency legislation that was introduced last year in order to deal with the spread of the deadly virus.

It gave the government a number of powers such as prohibiting or limiting group gatherings and even allowing retired health care professionals and students to practise.

The move to extend the powers for another six months has been criticised by some corners of the Conservative party.

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Former minister Steve Baker, the deputy chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG), said it clashed with the government's pledge to have the country out of lockdown by 21 June.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Baker said: "It's very difficult to say until we've seen the exact detail of what the Government is tabling and how the votes will come.

Lockdown powers could be extended this week. Credit: PA
Lockdown powers could be extended this week. Credit: PA

"Let's be absolutely clear, because it seems Labour and the SNP will vote for any old authoritarianism these days, it looks like the Government will get their business with an enormous majority.

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"But I do think it's important that some of us do seek to hold the Government to account with these extraordinary powers."

In a separate statement, he added: "With so many vulnerable people now vaccinated, people may ask why the restrictions the Government is bringing in this coming week are tougher than they were last summer when we didn't have a vaccine.

"The detention powers in the Coronavirus Act are disproportionate, extreme, and wholly unnecessary.

"Renewing them would not be reconcilable with the Prime Minister's guarantee that we are on a 'one-way road to freedom' by June 21."

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Steve Baker has criticised the potential extension. Credit: PA
Steve Baker has criticised the potential extension. Credit: PA

According to government's roadmap, restrictions are set to be eased on 29 March, 12 April, 17 May, and 21 June.

However, a senior government official warned that certain restrictions may have to stay in place and claimed it is 'premature' to book a summer holiday abroad just yet.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said he hasn't booked a summer holiday, warning that it's simply too early to do so.

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Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show, he warned that can't 'undermine' all of the progress that's been made through the ongoing vaccine rollout.

Wallace said: "Even though the United Kingdom is almost leading the world on vaccination rates - over half the adult population [being vaccinated], it really important that we don't import new variants that would undermine all that hard work.

"I haven't booked my holiday, I will wait to see what the responses from those task forces in April.

"I think it would be premature to do that. It would be potentially risky when we have seen growing variance. We have done a huge amount since September and I don't want us to throw that away."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: covid, UK politics, Parliament, Coronavirus, Boris Johnson, Holiday, Politics, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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