Rennie: Full parliamentary debate required if West of Scotland is to move to level 4

Commenting on reports that 12 local authorities in western and central Scotland will be moved to level 4 lockdown measures, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:

"If half the population of the country is to be moved to level four we must have a full parliamentary debate and vote first.

Level four is the equivalent of a lockdown with the closure of most of the High Street. It is therefore only right that if such a major change is to be implemented it must have the explicit support of the Scottish Parliament.

“That is important as we need full transparency on the reasons for the change to so many people’s lives.

“When Fife and Tayside were moved to level three last week the Scottish Government were unable to tell us what the drivers were for the rise in the rates of the virus.  If the West of Scotland is to move to even tighter restrictions we definitely need that information.

“Test and Protect should be able to tell us what is happening in our communities and what the source of the problem is.  If we don't know what the stubborn source of transmission is, there is no guarantee that these fresh measures will be effective

"The First Minister has previously committed to giving parliament a say over future lockdown measures including a full parliamentary debate and vote when big changes are made.  There should be little doubt that shutting down such a large part of the country is big.

“If we are to take the country with us they need to see that new plans are fully scrutinised and discussed.

"Ministers also need to say what additional financial support will be made available to individuals and businesses affected by these measures."

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