Why Lib Dem MPs decided not to vote for an extension of parts of the Coronavirus Act

Briefing from Liberal Democrat MPs on why they decided not to vote for an extension of parts of the Coronavirus Act.

  • The COVID pandemic has taken an enormous toll on families across the UK. People are rightly worried about their loved ones. We all want life to get back to normal as soon as possible, but the priority has to be keeping people safe.
  • The Coronavirus Act was rushed through Parliament in just three days at the start of the pandemic, when we still knew very little about the threat the country was facing. It is wrong for Conservative Ministers to claim they need the exact same emergency powers for another six months. It suggests they have learnt nothing over the past year
  • The Act contains totally unnecessary powers to reduce people’s rights. It has also caused enormous confusion among police and prosecutors, leading to more than 250 people being wrongfully charged.
  • Liberal Democrats have always been clear that our freedoms must be fully restored as soon as this crisis is over. Handing Ministers a blank cheque by renewing the Coronavirus Act in full until September simply isn’t necessary, and Liberal Democrats cannot support it.We continue to support the restrictions that are sadly necessary to contain the spread of the virus and keep people safe – including the lockdown, and quarantine for people coming into the country – none of which are reliant on the Coronavirus Act.
  • As their new Protest Crackdown Law shows, Conservative Ministers have no intention of restoring people’s rights and freedoms once the pandemic has passed. Liberal Democrats are fiercely opposing it.