Norfolk MPs have their say ahead of vote on Covid tiers
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Two Norfolk MPs have spoken out ahead of a crucial tier system vote set to take place later today.
It comes ahead of tonight's (Tuesday, December 1) Commons vote on a new toughened system of tiered coronavirus controls for England – with Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP all set to abstain.
Although the government is expected to win the vote on the new rules, scores of unhappy Conservative MPs are likely to throw Tory divisions into sharp relief.
Duncan Baker, the Conservative MP for North Norfolk, has previously spoken out over his disappointment at Norfolk being placed in Tier 2, but argued that keeping everyone as safe as possible was his primary aim, and for that reason, he would support the vote.
He said: "Since the release of the tier structure, I have been disappointed that Norfolk is in Tier 2 when there's a real case we could go into Tier 1.
"However, I recognise that we are coming out of a national lockdown and I have always preferred us to be in a localised tier system rather than a lockdown. So that is a positive step, albeit we are in a stricter set of restrictions than I would have liked.
"It is important that public safety is upheld as we have seen in other countries, such as Italy, Spain, the US, and even Wales yesterday, it is still an incredibly delicate position [to control the virus].
You may also want to watch:
"And in north Norfolk, although cases are still reasonably low, we are not immune from seeing what is happening in other parts of the country."
Clive Lewis, Labour MP for Norwich South, echoed Mr Baker's concerns over public safety but said he would abstain from the vote.
- 1 Londoners fined for travelling to stay at second home in Norfolk
- 2 Stunning images capture Cromer in the snow
- 3 Norfolk's first mass Covid vaccination centre to open in food court
- 4 Several burst mains in town leave homes without water
- 5 Sport and TV stars heading to Norfolk for new festival
- 6 Organisers 'hopeful' Cromer Carnival 2021 will be able to take place
- 7 Risk of flooding after parts of Norfolk see 8cm of snow
- 8 Drivers face non-essential travel fines after spate of snow crashes
- 9 In pictures: Children make the most of weekend snow
- 10 Man in 20s dies and three hurt as Audi crashes into wall
"This government has a dreadful big picture record on Covid," he said.
"There is no feasible way to save jobs, small businesses and the livelihoods of the self-employed without adequately dealing with Covid.
"Right now, it would be irresponsible to let up on efforts to conquer the disease. That's the main reason I don't want to take the risk of the rules not passing and why I'm not voting against the government's proposed tiering system.
"However, there are still huge problems with inadequate support for people and businesses.
"And as so many other countries have already shown, you can't effectively get to grips with the disease if you don't have an effective system for testing, tracing, and isolating.
"Until we get that right here in the UK, we'll be continually running to stand even the slightest chance of standing still.
"The government shows no sign of addressing any of this in [it's] proposals so I won't be voting for them either."
The result of the vote is expected at about 7pm.