In the article below fromThe Guardian, I react to the possibility that sweeping emergency powers could be introduced and enforced without a commons vote. These powers – which will aim to tackle the current coronavirus crisis – are set to last for a duration of two years.
The idea of the legislation being passed without a vote is concerning. So is the concept of hundreds of fellow MPs heading through the lobbies together in close proximity.
In the current crisis, MPs should be allowed to scrutinise legislation and vote remotely. This situation should not mean a complete breakdown of our democracy, which is what seems to be on offer. Of course there needs to be a balance and the executive given certain extra powers. But those powers need scrutiny, review and regular renewal.