“The message in Wales remains the same – stay home and save lives.

The Prime Minister’s announcements on easing lockdown restrictions in England have been confusing and careless. A dangerous series of ifs and buts which confuses rather than clarifies. 

The Coronavirus crisis has not by any means been averted. This huge loss of life – the highest death toll in Europe – has signalled a change in message from the UK Government which will undoubtedly trigger a change in behaviour across the UK. However the evidence shows that the slightest change in behaviour could claim the lives of thousands more. The very evidence on which the Welsh Government has based their decision to maintain lockdown restrictions in Wales.

The Prime Minister has assured us that if the statistics show that this is the wrong path to take he will ‘pump on the brakes’, failing to grasp that behind these statistics are thousands of preventable deaths and grieving families. Getting this wrong is simply not an option.

What the UK needs is clarity and reassurance – a coherent and clear four nations approach to how we play our part to stay safe in the worst public health crisis in over a century. Instead, we have a UK Government roadmap with no clear direction, evoking more questions than answers which will potentially cost lives.

The UK Government has failed to heed the calls of Wales and other devolved nations, for a four-nation approach to vital Covid-19 decisions. When the virus knows no borders we should not underestimate the danger of divergence.

Above all else, the priority must be protecting the public’s health and saving lives. Labour will continue to remind the Prime Minister of this where he falls woefully short. We will keep demanding answers to key questions and pushing for better outcomes for the mammoth challenges ahead.

As Cardiff North’s MP, I will continue to call on the UK Government to work collaboratively with the Welsh Government to ensure the repercussions of the Prime Minister’s announcements are not felt in Wales. Saving lives must always come first.”

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