三级成人视频Emergencies inevitably give governments powers they do not normally possess, together with the opportunity to bypass normal parliamentary procedures in order to secure them. The state has to act quickly in a crisis. Yet this Government seems to have grasped the latitude bestowed by Parliament with undue alacrity. Research by the Hansard Society has found more than 90 pieces of legislation have been pushed through without parliamentary scrutiny.

Many of the measures have been promulgated by way of secondary legislation through statutory instruments which do not necessarily require a vote. Other changes have been made using executive authority that does not need parliamentary approval because the powers are already delegated through an Act of Parliament.

It is easy to blame the executive branch for over-reach, but parliamentarians are culpable, too, for not putting proper safeguards in place or allowing primary legislation to pass containing the wherewithal for ministers to make arbitrary decisions. When the Coronavirus Act was being rushed through Parliament before the lockdown, MPs did their job in securing changes. But the restriction on movement has made their job harder, since only around 10 per cent of MPs are allowed in the chamber at any one time.

Restrictions on liberties and livelihoods have been pushed through with no scrutiny, including the 14-day quarantine on arrivals to the UK. The expectation had been that statutory instruments and delegated powers would be used principally for smaller legislative “tweaks”, rather than major changes. We have lost a lot in the past few months. We cannot dispense with our democracy as well.