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A plan for Christmas that works for families across the UK says Ed Davey

October 28, 2020 6:15 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Families deserve a Christmas that is as normal as possible says Sir Ed

Ed DaveyLib Dem Leader Ed Davey is working with the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland and calling for a four nations summit to make a plan for Christmas that works for families across the UK. pic.twitter.com/yGqhl34QRm

Speaking at PMQs, Ed Davey said,'the Govt has been badly prepared and slow to act at every stage throughout this Covid-19 crisis. That can't happen again, especially for Christmas. 2020 has been terribly hard on people - 'Many families across the UK have had an extremely difficult year being separated from their loved ones. They deserve a Christmas as normal as possible.

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A four nations summit to agree on a set of common guidelines for Christmas that works for families across the UK

In a letter signed by the Lib Dem leader, as well as Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds and Alliance Party deputy leader Stephen Farry - the national leaders are asked to "accept the inevitability" that people will travel, including between nations.

It continues: "It therefore falls on you and your counterparts to work across governments to explore workable solutions that can enable travel to happen safely".

The letter calls for a four-nation summit "to co-operate on students' return, to agree uniform guidance on the number of people who can gather, and to explore how best to expand travel options to allow social distancing".

Sir Ed said: "No one country can manage this challenge in isolation. The fractured rules across the UK have already been incredibly difficult to piece together."

Speaking to the BBC, he said there had been "too much point-scoring between different governments across the UK" and that co-ordination between the four nations need to be "stepped up". 'Ministers across Britain need to start work on it now'.

"Millions of people normally travel across the UK to see their families and they need clear guidance - they are trying to plan Christmas now."

He also said there should be a co-ordinated plan to manage travel movements during Diwalli. That's why Scottish Leader Willie Rennie, Welsh Leader Jane Dodds and I have joined with the Alliance Party in writing a joint letter to the four governments of the UK calling for a united approach to keeping family gatherings safe during the festive season.

This year has already seen Muslim communities across the country miss out on reuniting families for Eid al-Adha, with some communities impacted because of last-minute lockdown rules. After months apart, it was devastating news and we must learn from it.

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We must accept the inevitability that people are going to travel to be with their loved ones during the festive time of year. The interlinked nature of life in the United Kingdom means no one government can devise this guidance in isolation.

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It falls on the governments of the UK to work across together to explore workable solutions that can enable travel to happen safely.

To manage the implications for public health, we are urging them to work cross-party to cooperate on:

  • Students' return from university

  • Agreeing on uniform guidance on the number of people who can gather

  • Exploring how best to expand travel options to allow social distancing

This way, families up and down the UK can plan for a Christmas that is as normal as possible. It's what they deserve.

Links:
Ed Davey MP πŸ”ΆπŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί (@EdwardJDavey) October 28, 2020

With many families split across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, conflicting measures introduced by the respective governments of the UK nations could cause further confusion and complications.

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