Category Archives: Press releases

Rishi Sunak recycling aid money deals “damaging blow” to UK reputation ahead of COP summit

The Liberal Democrats have warned a UK government decision to effectively slash the aid budget by billions more pounds will send “completely the wrong message” to the world ahead of next month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

It comes after it was reported that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will include the UK’s share of financial assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund through Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as part of the 0.5% aid target. The move is expected to reduce the aid budget by another £4bn to £5bn over a number of years.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs …

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Ed Davey: Prioritise NHS and care workers for fuel

The government must ensure that health and care staff, teachers and other essential workers are given priority access to fuel, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has said.

The former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change warned that the government mustn’t “allow their incompetence to damage people’s health and undermine our children’s education.”

It comes amid a warning from the British Medical Association that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Nurses and doctors are struggling to get to work, vulnerable people

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Government must ‘not let the sun go down’ on the UK performers

Liberal Democrats have backed calls from Sir Elton John for the UK Government to urgently resolve the growing crisis facing the UK cultural sector.

At their national Conference today, the party has unanimously backed calls for swift action to address the red tape and paperwork that is stopping UK artists, performers, and musicians from being able to tour and perform in Europe.

Sir Elton has been a vocal critic of the Government’s failure to resolve this issue, which was caused following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without a full scheme in place to enable paperless travel for performers.

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Liberal Democrats call for radical new approach to Israel/Palestine conflict

The Liberal Democrats have called for more trade with Palestine and Israel, more resources for peace and upholding of international law by ceasing trade with illegal settlements.

Liberal Democrat members have today passed a motion at party conference calling for a new approach to the Israel/Palestine conflict.

The motion, the first on Israel/Palestine at Lib Dem conference since 2017, reaffirms the party’s call for immediate recognition of the state of Palestine alongside calling on the UK Government to commit further resources to peace.

The Liberal Democrats have become the first UK political party to formally support the creation of a peace fund for the region to build trust between Israeli and Palestinian communities, modelled on similar schemes previously used in Northern Ireland.

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Liberal Democrats table motion to dock Raab’s pay

Today in Parliament the Liberal Democrats are tabling an Early Day Motion to dock Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s pay over his handling of the Afghanistan crisis.

They are also calling for the Government to use the money saved to fund the resettlement of Afghan refugees, following reports of a £557m shortfall in resettlement funding.

Commenting on the motion, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

Dominic Raab is one of the worst Foreign Secretaries in British history.

He has presided over the worst foreign policy disaster since the Suez and decided to spend more time on the beach instead of picking

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Lib Dems say “Give firms right to require face masks worn by customers”

Following the Government’s update on plans to ease restrictions on 19th July, the Liberal Democrats have called on businesses to be given the legal right to require customers to wear face masks on their premises.

Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Business, has heard from businesses who want to protect young staff who have not received their second jab, and those who are clinically vulnerable, by ensuring face masks are worn by customers.

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Liberal Democrats: Keep masks mandatory on public transport a little while longer

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to keep masks mandatory on public transport after 19th July.

Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, believes it would be a small price worth paying to protect others:

Many people, especially the vulnerable, do not yet feel confident enough to travel on crowded public transport. There are millions who have still not been double jabbed, and are therefore at greater risk of both becoming ill themselves and spreading the virus to others.

Keeping masks mandatory on public transport which can often become overcrowded is the right thing to do.

We

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Lib Dems: Local lockdowns by stealth are completely irresponsible

Responding to the news that local lockdowns have been introduced by “stealth” Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Munira Wilson MP said:

Changing policy by stealth is completely irresponsible. Matt Hancock should have made clear the changes he was making to guidance in advance and communicated it to the public and local officials. He needs to make clear the situation immediately to Parliament.

Clarification on the new rules in these areas is now needed, not only for residents but for those that would normally travel to the affected areas. People cross these invisible boundaries every day for medical appointments or to go shopping.

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Hitachi trains: Government failing to address impact on passengers and regions

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Randerson has asked the Government to explain what assessment they have made of the social and economic impacts of disruption to services following the withdrawal of some Hitachi high speed trains from service after defects were discovered.

Following the response by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Baroness Randerson commented:

The Government has underestimated the impact of Hitachi on long suffering passengers and totally failed to address the impact of this disruption on individual passengers and regions.

There was no answer at all to my suggestion that the Govt should fund a season of promotional cheap fares

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Tories backtracking over new Powys Hospitals shows lack of honesty with voters

The admission by the Conservatives that their manifesto pledge to build two new hospitals in Powys won’t be fulfilled has been described as a disappointing breach of trust by the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservative manifesto pledges on both the inside cover and on page two that they will build “five new hospitals.” However Welsh Conservatives have now admitted that only two new hospitals will be built, neither of which will be in Powys and instead that existing hospitals in Newtown and Llandrindod will be upgraded.

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21 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 2)

  • Reverse “deadly” aid cuts, say Liberal Democrats
  • Liberal Democrats call for greater measures to increase accessibility in education
  • Government must commit to 10k refugees a year, Liberal Democrats say

Reverse “deadly” aid cuts, say Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have called on the UK Government to reverse “unprincipled, unjustified and downright deadly” cuts to international aid.

The motion passed at its Spring Conference reaffirmed the Party’s commitment to the UK contributing 0.7% of GNI on Official Development Assistance and slammed the merging of the Department for International Development with the Foreign Office.

It also demanded the UK Government play a ‘proactive role in debt forgiveness and relief initiatives’ for developing countries struggling with the economic and health impact of Coronavirus.

Speaking after the motion was approved, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and International Development Layla Moran said:

The UK’s global reputation is disappearing fast. The decision to cut aid to the world’s poorest is not only wrong but short-sighted and strategically incompetent. The Conservatives are putting nukes before prosperity.

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21 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 1)

  • A real-terms pay cut is an insult to NHS workers
  • Patel must drop proposals to restrict right to protest
  • Liberal Democrats call for Autism support

A real-terms pay cut is an insult to NHS workers

Liberal Democrats have pressed the Government to give NHS workers a proper pay rise during an emergency motion passed at the party’s Spring Conference.

Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, Social Care and Wellbeing, welcomed the motion being passed:

A real-terms pay cut is an insult to all the NHS workers who have gone above and beyond during this time of national crisis.

This Government seems obsessed with wasting millions of pounds on vanity projects yet can’t find a penny more to give nurses a proper pay rise. What kind of Prime Minister prioritises a new multi-million pound press conference room and expensive flat renovation at the expense of giving nurses a pay rise?

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20 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 2)

  • Government must fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Liberal Democrats review to plot paths to closer relationship with EU
  • We must get serious on Russia for the sake of our democracy

Government must fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to fix its response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the Party’s Spring conference.

The proposals include plans to fix the Government’s approach to self-isolation through better and more generous support; ensure Test and Trace makes better use of local government; and securing the rollout of surplus vaccines to the world’s poorest countries.

The party also called for an immediate independent public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic, as promised by the Prime Minister last autumn.

Munira Wilson MP, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Health, said:

The Government failed to learn the lessons of the first wave of the virus and they did not act to stop the pain and suffering this terrible disease inflicted on the UK in the second.

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20 March 2021 – the day’s press releases (part 1)

  • Small businesses must be at the heart of our recovery
  • Liberal Democrats champion a fairer deal for consumers
  • Liberal Democrats call for emergency £2.6bn carers support package
  • Small businesses must be at the heart of our recovery

    Liberal Democrats have passed a motion at their Spring Conference calling for a comprehensive package of support for small businesses and the self-employed, including:

  • Dedicated support schemes for the worst-affected sectors, such as hospitality, tourism, charities and the creative industries.
  • More support for businesses as we return to normal, by extending business rates relief, VAT reductions and tax deferrals.
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19 March 2021 – the day’s press release

We haven’t been publishing Party press releases for a while now, as we weren’t receiving any. However, the ‘teleprinter’ has suddenly sprung back into life…

Government letting down disabled workforce

Liberal Democrats have backed a new policy at its Spring Conference demanding better support for the disabled workforce.

The motion noted that the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’ in response to the pandemic made only one reference to disabled people and “contained nothing to address the specific challenges facing disabled people”.

The Liberal Democrats are proposing a range of measures to support disabled people into work, including a Jobs Guarantee for unemployed disabled people …

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15 December 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Government’s failure to secure land at Holyhead for border checks is a shocking show of unpreparedness say Welsh Lib Dems
  • Labour’s failure to stand up for Wales and devolution in key amendment during Internal Market Bill is shocking say Welsh Lib Dems

Government’s failure to secure land at Holyhead for border checks is a shocking show of unpreparedness say Welsh Lib Dems

With just 16 days until the end of the transition period the UK Government has admitted it has failed to secure land at Holyhead to carry out the extra checks on vehicles entering the country leading to fears of gridlock in the area.

In answer to a question from Lib Dem Peer Roger Roberts the UK Government admitted that “No land has yet been purchased two potential sites have been identified in partnership with the Welsh Government and commercial discussions are under way.”

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4 November 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Attempts to undermine US democratic process must be condemned by UK Government
  • Fixing test and trace must be priority for Government during national lockdown
  • Tories have betrayed their promise to protect British farmers

Attempts to undermine US democratic process must be condemned by UK Government

The Liberal Democrats have warned any attempts to undermine the democratic process in the US must be condemned by the UK Government.

The call comes in response to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab failing to condemn Donald Trump’s incorrect claims of victory in the US election.

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Layla Moran said:

We must not come to any premature conclusion about the election result, regardless of what the President or his campaign are saying.

Now is the time for peace and patience in the US, and for trust in the democratic process.

Any attempt to undermine that must be condemned by the UK Government and the international community in the strongest terms.

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2 November 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Four nations meeting welcome “first step” – Liberal Democrats
  • Government urged to “lead by example” and restore hybrid Parliament

Four nations meeting welcome “first step” – Liberal Democrats

Responding to news that the four Governments of the UK have met to develop a UK-wide approach to restrictions for the festive period, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

People across our family of nations will be reassured to hear that efforts are at last underway to ensure everyone is subject to the same guidance as they plan for the festive period, as first called for by the Liberal Democrats.

But today’s meeting can

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PM must properly plan ahead to protect jobs and lives, warns Davey

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that England will go into a second national lockdown until 2 December, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

Yet again, Boris Johnson dithered, delayed, and ignored expert advice. He was too slow in March and too slow again now, and his failure to lead has cost lives and jobs.

People across our country have sacrificed so much, waiting for Ministers to act and keep our families safe. Instead, the Government asks even more despite failing to deliver an effective test, trace and isolate system.

The priority must be keeping people safe and ensuring no

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30 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Government meetings must produce results for families over the festive season
  • Welsh Liberal Democrats welcome progress on Christmas Travel

Government meetings must produce results for families over the festive season

Responding to reports that the UK Government will hold meetings to try to develop a UK-wide approach to restrictions for the festive period, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

It is welcome that the governments of the four nations are listening to the Liberal Democrats’ calls. With so many families desperate to be back together this festive season, we simply cannot allow political bickering and fractured guidance to confuse and divide people.

These meetings must be more than just a publicity stunt. They must result in comprehensive uniform guidance for family gatherings, as well as a common approach to transport, student return and asymptomatic testing – and it must happen urgently.

Ultimately, if we are to both keep people safe and ensure families have any chance of spending holidays such as Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas together, then Ministers across these isles must also get a grip on the failing test, trace and isolate trace system.

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29 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • PM must implement an immediate national circuit breaker
  • Liberal Democrats: Government must fix failing test and trace system

PM must implement an immediate national circuit breaker

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has today called for an immediate national circuit breaker to “correct the failing test, trace and isolate system” and keep people safe.

The call follows annoucements in both France and Germany of new nationwide lockdowns. The Liberal Democrats have also called for a united approach to keeping family gatherings safe during the festive season, now backed by Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Government has been badly prepared and slow to act at every stage throughout this health and jobs crisis. That can’t happen again, especially in the run up to Christmas.

That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to start an immediate national circuit breaker across the UK. This is the only chance we now have to get the virus under control and save Christmas for millions of families across the UK.

The Government must use this national circuit breaker as a time to correct the failing test, trace and isolate system which is crucial to keeping people safe, minimising hospital admissions and restarting the UK economy.

Liberal Democrats are also calling on all the governments of the four nations to work together to create common guidelines across the UK so families can get as much clarity as possible as we head into the festive period.

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28 October 2020 – the overnight press release

Four nations summit needed to keep families safe at Christmas, liberals warn

Liberal Democrats in Scotland, Wales and England have joined with the Alliance Party in calling for a “four nations summit” to consider a united approach to keeping family gatherings safe during the festive season.

In a joint letter to the four governments of the UK, the Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey, Scottish Leader Willie Rennie, Welsh Leader Jane Dodds and Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MP warned the “interlinked nature of life in the United Kingdom means no one government can devise guidance for the festive season in isolation.”

The letter follows uncertainty about students returning for Christmas and conflicting comments about family gatherings, with Scotland’s National Clinical Director Jason Leitch branding multi-household gatherings “fiction” while the Prime Minister indicated rules could be relaxed.

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26 October 2020 – today’s press release

PM’s claim “does not ring true” given Government stance on free school meals

Responding to the Prime Minister’s claim that the Conservative Government will “do everything in our power to make sure no child goes hungry this winter during the holidays”, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said:

Boris Johnson’s claim does not ring true given his hard-hearted refusal to u-turn on free school meals.

The idea that other measures will make up for the lack of provision just won’t wash – people know the real struggles that families are enduring. That is why so many communities and businesses have

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23-25 October 2020 – the long weekend’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats push for expansion of Hong Kong citizenship offer
  • PM’s failure to listen to scientists has made family Christmas less likely
  • Tories must “wake up to reality” and do the right thing on Free School Meals

Liberal Democrats push for expansion of Hong Kong citizenship offer

A Liberal Democrat Bill to grant all Hong Kong Citizens a pathway to UK citizenship and “strengthen the UK’s historic bond with the people of Hong Kong” is scheduled to have its Second Reading debate in the House of Commons today.

The Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael, Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong and Patron of Hong Kong Watch, would create a route to UK citizenship for all Hong Kongers.

By expanding British National Overseas (BNO) status to all Hong Kongers, the Bill goes well beyond the Conservative Government’s current citizenship commitments, which extend only to specific groups currently eligible to claim BNO status.

The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Home Office’s “deceptive” claim that the cost of a five-year visa for Hong Kongers will be just £250, as the true figure will be well over £3000 once the Immigration Health Surcharge is taken into account.

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22 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Economic support plans made “on the hoof” are failing millions
  • Tracing failures shows Hancock needs to overhaul test and trace

Economic support plans made “on the hoof” are failing millions

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Chancellor of “making up plans on the hoof” when it comes to financial support for businesses and workers impacted by COVID-19. Responding to the Chancellor’s statement in the House of Commons today, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Yet again the Chancellor is taken by surprise by events unfolding exactly as predicted months ago. He has utterly failed to address the gravity of the economic crisis, with people and businesses facing devastating pressure across the country.

Beyond tinkering around the edges of the Job Support Scheme and correcting some of its blatant errors, he has offered nothing for those slipping into poverty. 67% of salary is just not enough for people to get by on. The Chancellor is making up plans on the hoof and is failing millions of people.

We need real leadership from Government, not a patchwork of ever-changing measures. It’s clearer than ever that the Government should have kept the furlough scheme in place as the Liberal Democrats called for, yet they are too proud to do the right thing and U-turn.

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20 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats secure Government commitment to publish test and trace agreement with police
  • Government face first defeat in the Lords over Internal Market Bill

Liberal Democrats secure Government commitment to publish test and trace agreement with police

Today, Liberal Democrat Peer Paul Scriven has secured a commitment from Health Minister Lord Bethell to publish the agreement between the Government and police chiefs over the decision to share test and trace data.

This follows the Health Secretary’s refusal to make the Memorandum of Understanding public when Liberal Democrat Health and Care Spokesperson Munira Wilson asked him to just yesterday.

Following the exchange, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Scriven said:

An effective test, trace and isolate system to keep people safe will only work if the public have faith in it and this means the Government must be open and honest about how it uses people’s data.

It is absolutely crucial that the Government publishes its Memorandum of Understanding with police chiefs on sharing of Test and Trace data in full, otherwise they risk further undermining public trust in the system and discouraging people from getting tested.

I’m glad to have secured this commitment from the Minister, but he must now make sure the document is published for public scrutiny as soon as possible. The Liberal Democrats are clear that transparency over the use of personal data is essential to build public confidence in Test and Trace.

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20 October 2020 – the overnight press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: Government inaction failing survivors of sexual violence
  • Reversing Liberal Democrat Immigration Bill amendments risks “new Windrush-style Scandal”

Liberal Democrats: Government inaction failing survivors of sexual violence

Responding to the Victims Commissioner’s report on rape survivors and the criminal justice system, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Survivors deserve justice. They must be properly supported to come forward and be listened to when they do.

However, as this report shows, far too many survivors are put off reporting the crime for fear of being disbelieved, and far too many who do come forward find the whole process traumatic. Government inaction is failing survivors of sexual violence and allowing too many criminals to walk free.

It is incomprehensible that the Government’s review of rape cases is doing so little to engage with survivors – especially given the clear evidence that the system simply isn’t working for them.

Ministers must listen to survivors, complete the review as soon as possible, and urgently make improvements across the whole justice system. Survivors mustn’t be left waiting any longer for the justice they need.

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19 October 2020 – today’s press release

Liberal Democrats: PM must get a grip of coronavirus spread in the North

Today, Liberal Democrats from across the North of England, including four council leaders, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, and Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords Dick Newby, have written to the Prime Minister stating that the North has been “overlooked by a London-centric government”.

The letter calls for a raft measures to be implemented urgently to help stop the spread of the virus across vast swathes of the country.

Some of the measures include:

  • Rapidly funding local authorities to enable a local scale-up of the failing test, trace and isolate system
  • Increasing

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16 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • PM’s no deal comments further reveal his incompetence
  • Davey: PM must bring back a deal that protects jobs and livelihoods

PM’s no deal comments further reveal his incompetence

Responding to reports that the Prime Minister has said it’s time to ‘get ready’ for no deal, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Christine Jardine said:

Boris Johnson’s handling of Brexit has been disastrous and these reckless comments are just further evidence of the Prime Minister’s incompetence. It has been more than four years since the referendum and yet here we are with a potential no deal and less than three months until the transition period ends.

At a time when the UK is already facing the biggest crisis in generations as a result of coronavirus, we cannot afford to crash out of the EU without a deal in place or to accept a rushed, bad deal. The Government cannot allow people’s livelihoods to be put further at risk, when so many are already struggling to get by.

The Liberal Democrats will continue to hold the Conservative Government to account as Ministers fail to deliver what they promised, and try and ensure we get the best deal available.

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15 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: London lockdown further evidence Govt have lost control
  • Liberal Democrats vote against “dangerous” Government crimes Bill

Liberal Democrats: London lockdown further evidence Govt have lost control

Responding to reports that London will face Tier 2 Covid restrictions from Saturday, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

The Government have completely lost control of coronavirus across vast swathes of the country, and the situation in London is looking very difficult.

In the north of England, and now in London, the sacrifices of millions of people have been squandered by this Government. Because of Boris Johnson’s failure to ensure our test, trace and isolate system worked, millions of people will have to make those sacrifices again.

We need to understand the science behind the tier system immediately, otherwise there will be fears that this fresh wave of restrictions will do very little to help stop the spread of the virus. We need a circuit-breaker introduced now, on the condition that government overhaul the failing test and trace system – otherwise restrictions will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

The government must do much more to protect jobs and livelihoods and keep people safe.

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