Strict lockdown measures unlikely to be lifted ‘overnight’ – Rees-Mogg
Jacob Rees-Mogg has warned that the lockdown will not be eased “overnight” as the UK prepares for changes to the current measures in place to control the coronavirus spread.
Senior Conservatives, including ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith and Graham Brady, who chairs the influential 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, have piled pressure on the government in recent days to roll back the lockdown “as quickly as possible” in order to kick-start the UK economy.
But Commons leader Rees-Mogg has looked to calm public and Tory expectations, suggesting the country should not expect complete freedoms to be restored immediately.
In an interview with the Moggcast podcast released on Tuesday, he said compliance with the initial restrictions, imposed by the prime minister on 23 March, had been better than the government anticipated, labelling it a “lockdown by consent”.
But the Cabinet minister said releasing those restraints “ may take some time”, with the review of the lockdown due to take place on Thursday May 7.
He said: “I think that the success (of the lockdown) has been greater than the government expected.
“But that, by working with the consent of the people, it means that the lockdown, when the consent is for it to end, will be something people are buying into and it is all about going with the grain of what people want to do.
“And when people are ready and the government announces that the five tests have been met, I think things will ease back.
“But no one is saying we will go back to where we were at the beginning of the year overnight.
“It will be a process back to that, which may take some time.
“And so I think the success of the policy, (having) the consent of the British people, leaves us in a good position rather than a bad position.”
Rees-Mogg also said the public had brought it upon themselves to impose a lockdown that was “slightly stricter than the government was actually calling for”, although he did not elaborate on what he meant.
He said, now that successful tests had been carried out on remote voting in the Commons, the next steps could see ministers pursuing the government’s election pledges, with MPs starting to deal with more “controversial” legislation in the coming weeks.
“It is part of the process of restoring normality, that we will be having debates on some of the more controversial issues,” he added.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
Leave a ReplyYou must be logged in to leave a comment.Join the conversation
Please read our comment moderation policy here.