MPs back Theresa May as she attacks foreign trips ‘chaos’ – even Tory critics who savaged her failed Brexit deal
- Theresa May attacked Boris Johnson’s Covid international travel restrictions
- She found herself at head of an unlikely coalition of Tory and Labour politicians
- Mrs May told MPs foreign travel rules meant ‘global Britain shut for business’
The former Prime Minister found herself at the head of an unlikely coalition of Tory and Labour politicians after condemning the travel-abroad rules as ‘incomprehensible’.
In a highly embarrassing intervention for her successor, Mrs May told MPs last week that the chaotic foreign travel rules meant ‘global Britain shut for business’, with travel policy going backwards, not forwards.
Theresa May found herself at the head of an unlikely coalition of Tory and Labour politicians
She said: ‘We now have over 50 per cent of the adult population vaccinated – a wonderful programme – yet we’re more restricted on travel than we were last year.’
Last night, former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who in 2018 lambasted Mrs May for selling out Britain’s sovereignty to Brussels, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Theresa is right [to say] this is unbelievably damaging to both the reality of the airline business and to the reputation of the UK as a global centre.’
Former Brexit Minister David Jones, sacked by Mrs May in 2017, said: ‘Theresa is actually on this occasion right.
Mrs May made a scathing attack on Boris Johnson’s ‘chaotic’ Covid international travel restrictions
‘We do need to make sure we get the aviation industry going again.’
Labour MP Graham Stringer said: ‘Theresa May is entirely right to condemn the Government’s chaotic Covid policy on aviation. It is a shambles – it’s almost as though the vaccines never happened.’
Mrs May was speaking in the wake of the abrupt decision to remove Portugal from the Government’s ‘green’ list of quarantine-free travel – leaving, critics point out, just Gibraltar and Iceland as possible holiday destinations.
The row broke amid concerns that overseas tourism to the UK is not expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2025, according to analysis presented to Ministers.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: ‘Our policy on international travel is guided by one overwhelming priority – public health – and we cannot risk sacrificing the progress we have made in our vaccination effort.
‘That’s why our traffic light allocations are based on a range of health factors including genomic surveillance capability, COVID-19 transmission risk and Variant of Concern transmission risk.’