Lord Maude of Horsham debates involving the Home Office during the 2019 Parliament

Covid-19: UK Border Health Measures

Lord Maude of Horsham Excerpts
Thursday 4th June 2020

(4 years ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
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I absolutely assure the noble Baroness that everyone in Britain will have the help that they need. “No recourse to public funds” does not mean that people will not have access to healthcare; they will. Nobody needs to find themselves without accommodation—the Government have purchased hotel rooms to ensure that—and nobody will find themselves without access to food either.

Lord Maude of Horsham Portrait Lord Maude of Horsham (Con)
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My Lords, I declare my interest as an adviser to IFM, which is a shareholder in Manchester Airports Group, but also as someone who I think has had this virus so I know what it is like. Of course everyone will understand the concern that there is to minimise infections in future, but because of that it is extremely important that we in this House—but also the public more widely—see and understand the scientific advice that lies behind this measure, when it involves a move from there being no health checks whatsoever at the border to what look like the most stringent controls anywhere in the world. Will my noble friend undertake that this measure will be subjected to really genuine review as soon as possible with a presumption in favour of a swift reversal, and in the meantime urgently seek bilateral arrangements to mitigate the very significant downside effects that noble Lords have already identified?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford
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I absolutely give that commitment to my noble friend. The sooner that these measures are lifted the better, because it means that the virus will have been completely suppressed, the country will be opening up again and the economy will be moving. Manchester Airport, which I visited just before lockdown started—it was absolutely ghostly at the time, and I do not think any planes have flown out of there in the last few weeks—is my local airport, and I absolutely look forward to it being up and running again.