breaking

MPs approve pub closures in second lockdown

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

New rules: MPs have approved a national lockdown for England which will begin at one minute past midnight tonight (Thursday 5 November)
New rules: MPs have approved a national lockdown for England which will begin at one minute past midnight tonight (Thursday 5 November)

Related tags: lockdown, Health and safety, Legislation, England, Pubs

MPs have voted in favour of the new set of lockdown rules, which will come into force later tonight.

516 MPs voted to approve the lockdown, while there were 38 votes against.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson implored MPs to vote with the Government for a four-week lockdown in England, arguing the lockdown was needed to prevent deaths “on a grievous scale”.

MPs debated the four-week shutdown in the House of Commons earlier today (Wednesday 4 November). Labour backed the Government's plans while a number of Conservative MPs protested the proposal.

Under new laws, pubs and other “non-essential” businesses will close tonight for 28 days, until 2 December.

They will be able to offer takeaway services, including alcohol if it is pre-ordered.​ 

Pubs could be hit with fines of up to £10,000 for breaking coronavirus laws in this time.

Business breaker

Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith dubbed the circuit-breaker lockdown as a "business breaker" and called for an impact assessment into the economic fallout.

The Prime Minister said the NHS could be overwhelmed if urgent action was not taken and he was "not prepared to take the risk with the lives of the British people."

Former Prime Minister Theresa May called on the Government to provide more information on the death projections it had used to justify the shutdown. 

She said there should be a "proper assessment" of the success of the previous tier system, which could be introduced again after the lockdown ends.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £1.1bn​ of financial support, in addition to an extension of the furlough scheme. Pubs can also access grants to cover ongoing costs.

However, the trade has said much more help is needed and some businesses may face permanent closure.

More follows...

Related topics: Legislation

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