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New route map must be written with the country, not imposed upon it

October 12, 2020 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today warned that the new Scottish route map must be written in partnership with people across the country, not imposed by the Scottish Government on the country.

Mr Rennie warned that the SNP Government needs to engage with people on how we respond to the latest phase of the pandemic following a series of errors on pubs and restaurants, students, schools and quarantine spot checks.

Following news that the First Minister is planning to publish the new route map, after the last one was quietly dispensed with, he said:

"I hope the SNP Government learns from the recent problems over the handling of the pandemic and fully involve the public in devising the new route map. The last one was quietly dispensed after the second wave made it redundant. The new one must be written with the country, not imposed on it.

"I am sure the SNP Government already have a draft set of proposals ready to publish so it should be shared with people and businesses so we can help to shape what comes next. People need to be treated like adults which means sharing the government's thinking, assumptions and workings so we can all help to get it right.

"Following the mistakes over the reopening of schools, the restart of universities, the closing of restaurants and pubs and the quarantine spot checks the Government needs the help of everyone to get this right.

"The Government was aiming for the elimination of the virus over the summer but did not succeed and what's worse is that they did not use the time well. They did not get the testing capacity increased sufficiently and failed to carry out the quarantine spot checks effectively so they were unable to hunt down the virus as outbreaks began.

"This is why we need a new route map that everyone can accept and support. To achieve that the government needs to engage, not impose."