Sir Graham Brady says he will be voting against the government in tonight’s vote on the Tier System – saying it had failed to make “a compelling case” for continuing to restrict people’s freedom.
Speaking in today’s House of Commons debate ahead of the vote tonight, the MP for Altrincham and Sale West cited the current infection rate in Trafford which he said was “falling rapidly”.
He said a document published by the government last night which sort to set out the data behind its decision over England’s new tier system – which has placed Trafford and Greater Manchester in the toughest Tier 3 – had not provided a “serious and compelling case”.
Brady said: “My constituents in the borough of Trafford have been placed unfairly in Tier 3 in spite of Covid test figures that are well below the average for England. Currently the rate is 127.7 for 100,000 people and falling rapidly.
“But I looked in vain at the document published late yesterday at any explanation or any route being set out as to how we would reach that lower tier. There was no serious attempt in that document to provide an answer. In the absence of that serious and compelling case I have no choice but to oppose these measures.”
Brady said he accepted that it was a “difficult decision to take”, but that the government had failed to “demonstrate beyond question that they are acting in a way that is both proportionate and absolute necessary”.
He added: “The benefit of the doubt that this House has extended to government in March and since, is harder to take for granted in December. Six weeks ago many of us made the case that the curfew policy at 10pm was not just unnecessary, but that it was counter-productive. Today the government apparently agrees that the 10pm curfew makes no sense.
“A month ago the government insisted that golf and tennis and bowls and gyms were unsafe; now it seems that they’re not.
“Madam Deputy Speaker, before the second lockdown I invited the House to consider whether government had the right to make it illegal for people to see their children, their grandchildren or their elderly relatives, whether the government had the right to ban collective worship or to take away the right to work to support your family.
“Different people, different members of this House, will draw the line in different places but we must all accept that these are fundamental freedoms of our constituents and that we should insist on compelling evidence before we allow them to be compromised.”