Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has added his name to the so-called ‘Brady Amendment’, which may be debated in the House of Commons this week.
The amendment, tabled by Sir Graham Brady MP, aims to ensure that MPs have the opportunity to debate and vote upon any provisions established under the Coronavirus Act (2020). As per the sunset clause included in the Act when passed, those provisions must be renewed regularly, with the first vote on renewal scheduled for 30th September 2020. The amendment may be considered as part of those proceedings, if selected by the Speaker.
Giles said: “Beyond the passing of the Coronavirus Act, MPs have had limited say over the temporary restrictions that have been brought in to deal with this virus, and these restrictions have dramatically impacted on our way of life.
“Yes we are still facing a serious situation, and we are about to suffer a second wave, so I quite understand the need for expediency. However, we now have the space and time to carefully think these restrictions through, and far greater scrutiny and limitations on Government powers is now a necessity. I know that many constituents share my concerns, and that is why I am supporting this amendment.
“Encouragingly, the Government has engaged constructively with Sir Graham and has heard the concerns expressed by myself and colleagues. Negotiations are ongoing, and the Government may yet concede this matter without a vote. But until greater scrutiny of these decisions is in place, I will continue to support this amendment, and hope that it is selected for debate on Wednesday.
“These are serious restrictions that have a substantial impact on our society and need to be considered properly.”