Britain's hard right Home Sec Priti Patel is, strangely, refusing to close the borders when it actually might be necessary...
The SNP has said the UK government must close UK borders to all but essential travel, to prevent international transmission of Covid-19 and its new strains.
Joanna Cherry QC MP has raised concerns that the Home Secretary is “repeating the same mistakes we’ve seen the UK government make throughout this crisis” by failing to restrict international travel and failing to introduce a rigorous system of health checks and quarantining.
The latest figures show 1.7m people flew into the UK in October, the most recent month for which data is available. There were 9.2m air passenger arrivals into the UK during the last six months to November.
The SNP Shadow Home Secretary said the Home Office must bring the UK into line with other countries with tighter measures placed on travel in response to coronavirus.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Home Secretary Joanna Cherry QC MP said: “It is deeply concerning that the Home Secretary is repeating the same mistakes we’ve seen the UK government make throughout this crisis by failing to introduce effective restrictions and health measures at the UK border to prevent the transmission of covid-19 and its new strains.
“The UK government was far too slow to act in the spring, allowing hundreds of thousands of international visitors to enter the country in the middle of a global pandemic without effective measures in place. It seems as though they haven’t learnt a thing.
“No one wants to restrict international travel but it is a necessary part of mitigating against transmission. The UK government must stop all but essential travel, and introduce a far more rigorous system of health checks and quarantining at the border. This is a matter of urgency and the Home Secretary must get a grip of the situation.”
She added: “When the SNP called for these measures during the first wave of the pandemic the UK government dismissed our calls for many weeks before finally U-turning and introducing an ineffective system for too short a period. It is time for the Home Secretary to listen and act with powers that remain reserved to Westminster.”
We seem to be in the bizarre position where a Government that has for years harked on about reducing immigration, is failing to do so when it actually matters for public health…
Josiah Mortimer is co-editor of Left Foot Forward.
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