Tier drop: what impact could the new Covid-19 alert system have on pubs?
26 November 2020
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27 November 2020

The Government’s Covid Winter Plan will be put to a vote next week but a number of MPs may rebel against the plan after their constituencies were placed under tough rules.

Several MPs said they were concerned about the hit to hospitality businesses, following health secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement of what areas would be under what tiers yesterday (Thursday 26 November).

Up to 70 Conservative MPs are considering whether or not to make their displeasure clear when the rules are put to a vote next week, the news website Politicio has reported.

The Government is to publish an impact assessment shortly.

Labour will decide early next week if it will support the rules at Tuesday’s vote. 

Authoritarian policies

Among those to vocalise their criticism of the tiers – which place most of England under restrictive tier two rules – was the chairman of the influential 1922 committee of backbenchers, Sir Graham Brady.

Sir Graham Brady told BBC Radio 4’s the World at One ​yesterday: “I do think that the policies have been far too authoritarian. I think they have interfered in people’s private and personal lives in a way which is unacceptable.”

He added: “There has got to be a real danger that, if these restrictions aren’t lifted very, very soon now, there will be a lot of businesses that simply won’t reopen.”

Labour MP for Luton South Rachel Hopkins has asked the Government to allocate time to discuss further support for pubs, particularly wet-led community sites. 

Ashford MP Damian Green said he was “hugely disappointed” Kent had been placed into the toughest band of rules, meaning pubs will remain closed. 

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi said he was also disappointed about his constituency’s tier.

Representatives for Bournemouth were also disappointed with the tier two allocation of the area.

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