Tougher lockdowns will wreck our economies, 'Red Wall' MPs warn Boris Johnson
A sign warns people of social distancing in Liverpool, one of the areas facing stricter restrictions next week - Christopher Furlong / Getty Images Europe
Boris Johnson faced backlash from Red Wall MPs and regional leaders on Thursday when they complained that lockdown measures were killing their local economy.
Much of northern England is preparing for new restrictions on Monday if a three-tier "traffic light" system is to be introduced to close pubs, bars and restaurants in risk areas.
An estimated 10 million Britons will be affected by the tougher lockdown measures as the number of Covids rises. Pubs and restaurants are expected to close in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Nottingham.
A leaked document received by the Nottingham Post showed that the much-pursued tiered system is expected to be announced on Monday and go into effect on Wednesday. The following graphic shows what it could look like:
Former Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry, Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen, warned: "Communities in the north of England are covered in snow from the blizzard of ever-changing Covid regulations that are coming our way.
"What we need are clear, proportionate, and simple rules that are phased in and use local data for decision-making purposes. The key is that they show not just how to enter a level, but how to exit a level. Because no one is using all the damage that will cause the local economy to get locked into a "Hotel California" lock. "
Simon Fell, the Conservative MP for Barrow-in-Furness, organized a public meeting for locals Thursday to express their concerns, saying, "I understand that people have questions and concerns about these upcoming new, tougher measures for Barrow will have. ""
Charlotte Nichols, the Labor MP from Warrington North, accused the government of making arbitrary decisions about geography.
She said: "We have been linked to the Liverpool City area in Warrington for 16 days and have two different restrictions even though Warrington is in Cheshire."
Andrew Gwynne, Labor MP for Denton and Reddish in Greater Manchester added, "All the evidence from Bolton, where they closed the pubs and restaurants, shows that the coronavirus continued to spiral anyway."
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the North would oppose any lockdown unless the government worked out a plan with local leaders, warning that Mr Johnson had "lost the dressing room".
He said, "What they do is impose rather than negotiate - and there is a very big difference when we know that millions of lives will be affected by these assessments.
"If the support package is not good enough, it means restrictions without the help the people need. It will only cause massive damage to the lives of the people here in the north of England."
Mr Burnham complained that the first time he heard of bars and restaurants being closed was when he read about it in the press, adding, "I have had two meetings with Cabinet Ministers along with other Mayors this week, and that it wasn't. " not even mentioned.
"Without a local vacation program, there is no way I will authorize a store to close."
The Chancellor will unveil a local vacation program on Friday for hospitality workers who are forced to close, the Times reported.
Liverpool City Area Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram added: "It is deeply disappointing to wake up to reports that new lockdown measures could be put in place on our area within days.
"We're finding out again because ministers prefer to inform newspapers rather than local leaders. What we have seen is an increasing north-south divide in the measures taken. Quite simply, the north shouldn't be a petri dish." for experimentation by the central government. "
Dan Jarvis, Barnsley Central Labor MP and Mayor of the Sheffield City area, said: "It is totally unacceptable for potential changes in local restrictions to be communicated to the press without consulting local leaders.
"This creates chaos and uncertainty - especially when companies learn of the impending closure but the government has yet to come up with a plan to support our economy. The people of South Yorkshire and the north deserve far better."
James Ramsbotham, the chief executive of the Northeast Chamber of Commerce, said the impending lockdown would “wreak havoc” on the local economy, adding, “Retail and hospitality are absolutely reliant on the three months leading up to Christmas to see them through the next nine Months of trade. Killing your trade at this time of year will have a huge impact. "
But Health Minister Nadine Dorries said: "Those who now claim that no further action is needed will argue in about 10 days when hospital admissions are at a critical stage that we haven't done enough. We must do everything what we can. " to prevent our intensive care units from being overwhelmed. "
Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, said that an announcement would be made "shortly," adding, "There are very big differences between areas so it is right that we take a localized, proportionate response."
Matt Hancock, the health minister, told a conference of NHS providers he was "very concerned about the increase in cases, particularly in the north-west and north-east of England, parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland". and parts of Yorkshire ".
It came when former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said Mr Johnson would never defeat the coronavirus and instead must help Britain live with it.
He told the Chopper's Politics podcast: "I've never been at a time like this where we've overturned almost all judgments on anything but secondary to Covid. And the truth is, if we keep trying, those peaks down to press. " all the time ... then we could be around for years because there are very few vaccines that are fully effective against viruses.
"We have lost the balance of risk. We only have one risk now. And if you only think of one risk, you can damage everything around you."
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