‘Principalities are out of step with England’ on Covid restrictions says Tory MP
Wales has long chafed against its description as a ‘principality’ in the English press – but has now been joined by Scotland and Northern Ireland, according to a Conservative MP.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservatives, told Times Radio that he thought “the principalities are out of step with England” on Covid restrictions.
Parts of west Wales and the north-east of Wales constituted the Principality of Wales after the country’s conquest in 1284, but this arrangement ended in the 16th century.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for The Cotswolds, was responding to the suggestion that Prime Minister Boris Johnson could introduce new restrictions to tackle the rising wave of Omicron variant Covid cases in England.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already introduced some restrictions, including a ban of crowds at sporting events in Wales.
In Northern Ireland, as in Wales, nightclubs have been closed, table service is required in pubs and restaurants, and a maximum of six people can sit together at hospitality venues.
In Scotland, indoor events have been limited to 100 people standing or 200 people seated, and groups meeting inside must be limited to three households.
Asked whether he was concerned that England was “out of step” with the rest of the UK in terms of Omicron restrictions, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: “I think it is the other way round.
“I think the principalities are out of step with England. I think they have been overly cautious. I think they are doing more damage to their economies than they need to.
“I think they are doing more damage to people’s liberties than they need to – I just don’t think the evidence, unless the data coming out today looks very different, is there for any further measures.”
Boris Johnson is expected to announce any changes to restrictions for England before the New Year after receiving his first comprehensive data briefing since before Christmas today.
He would probably have to announce any news measures by the end of tomorrow if they were to have any impact before New Year’s Eve.
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