The Coronavirus Act is an attack on our liberties. MPs must seize this chance to scrap it | Martha Spurrier

Parliament is being asked to embed emergency powers that have already caused injustices. But that’s no way to solve a public health crisis

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” is something I’ve heard often these past six months. Such framing is dangerous. It’s like saying “anything goes”. Yet it’s often invoked when people talk about the government’s response to the pandemic and specifically the Coronavirus Act, the biggest restriction on civil liberties in a generation.

Even though this enormously powerful act passed in a single day early on in the pandemic in March, MPs of all parties knew how dangerous it was. They noted that its powers were “unprecedented” (Ian Blackford, SNP), “alarming” (Edward Davey, Liberal Democrats), “extraordinary” (Theresa Villiers, Conservative). MPs called for it to be scratched from the statute books as soon as possible.

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