Members of this House face a dire choice today.
If we vote for a second lockdown, we will be punching our economy in the gut, with impacts on jobs, on businesses, on livelihoods, and our nation’s mental health.
It carries a heavy cost, in every sense.
But if we don’t take further action now – we risk our NHS being overwhelmed, life-saving surgeries cancelled and lives lost as a result of this virus and many other conditions.
When the circumstances change, it’s impossible to continue down the same path.
NHS leaders in Devon are preparing for the worst with infections and hospitalisations rising across the region.
It’s the reality on the ground, not future projections that have kept me up at night.
The government has ramped up support across the board to help the self-employed, protected jobs by extending the furlough scheme and introduced grants for businesses forced to close.
We demanded nothing less.
Above all, I don’t want anyone to lose a loved one before their time because of this dreadful virus.
Life is incredibly precious.
And so are the freedoms we’ve come to expect.
Ahead of December 2nd, my constituents in East Devon have made it clear they want to see a Plan B.
A plan which strengthens testing and encourages freedom, not fear.
Like me, they worry the current treatment could be far, far worse than the disease.
This speech was written but not delivered in the House due to a lack of time during the debate. 04/11/20.