British Labour Opposition Leader: Sir Keir Starmer.
Sir Keir Starmer, if the vote on the 10 pm curfew on pubs, comes to the vote on Monday, Boris can no longer rely on Sir Keir's support. Sir Keir has stated that the government cannot automatically rely on the Labour party's support anymore. Before now, Sir Keir and Boris, have walked shoulder to shoulder on the COVID pandemic. But now, Sir Keir, in what he sees as a massive disaster in the government's handling of COVID, cannot bring himself to support Boris, all the time. Sir Keir in PMQs yesterday described Boris' handling of the crisis as a "Car crash" and a mess of "intergalactic" proportions.
Boris has seen off a rebellion by his own backbenchers, however, those rebels have not gone away. If the vote, as many news outlets have predicted, that the 10 pm curfew comes before the Commons on Monday, those Tory rebels will vote against it. Sir Keir and the Labour party, the SNP, Lib-Dems, etc, will join forces with the rebels.
The 10 pm curfew to stem the tide of the rising COVID virus, seems to be have been a disaster. People have been spilling out of the pubs at 10 pm and heading back to each other's houses to continue their drinking and partying. The police are unable to contain these mass gatherings as they either do not have the personnel or the time.
The COVID virus is rife once more in the UK, so far, the government has contained it through local lockdowns. But now, with the virus seemingly out of control in the north of England, more drastic measures are now to be announced and come into force by Monday. It is expected, as in Scotland, pubs, restaurants, etc, in the north of England, will have to close. The government has a package of measures to support businesses and staff, as the furlough scheme ends, at the end of this month. How successful, these measures will be, remains to be seen. Many though, are worried about the new package of measures. Why, because the government this time will pay less of the money to keep employees employed and the employers will have to fund the remainder. The furlough scheme, now in its death throes, saw the government paying the most to retain workers, while the employers paid the least.
DWP woman, Therese Coffey, has admitted despite the government support package, there will be a large number of unemployed. The Department for Work and Pensions is recruiting an extra 25,000 staff to meet this pending unemployment. Chancellor Sunak has always said, through this pandemic, that he cannot save every job or business. In reality, of course, Mr Sunak, cannot save all jobs and businesses, it is simply asking the impossible, (as good as it might be in the ideal world).
Greene King a large pub and restaurant chain across the UK, said, because of the COVID crisis, it is shutting 79 of its outlets (across the UK). The company said this would lead to 800 of its employees being made redundant. The 10 pm curfew has already hit the hospitality trade hard. Smaller pubs, restaurants, etc, may go under, unlike, larger outlets like Greene King or Wetherspoons. The hospitality sector, especially, at night brings in billions for the economy.
However, the government feels something must be done to curb this spike in Coronavirus. Matt Hancock, the government health minister has said where crowds gather in such places, the virus is spread more easily. The government is right to take such action to prevent the spread of COVID, but, the current government package must be able to support people in the hospitality sector. Both the owners and the staff they employ.
The vote on Monday (assuming it takes place about the 10 pm curfew) and if Boris is defeated on this vote, then it will be the first major real defeat for him. Some news outlets are saying it will be a loss of authority, which for a man who likes to himself as another Churchill, will be humiliating.
Like Theresa May before him, it would appear parliament is taking control of the COVID-19 crisis. Parliament took control over a lot of what Theresa May did regarding Brexit.
Eventually, she was defeated 3 times and attempted putting her Brexit plan a fourth time, but withdrew it (when she knew she would be soundly, defeated again, by rebel Tories and opposition parties). Eventually, this led to the downfall of May (amongst many other things). How ironic would it be, if Boris (who challenged Mrs May, over her Brexit plan) came spectacularly crashing down too, because of parliament?