02:52 GMT25 February 2021
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    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (496)

    The Bank of England has cut interest rates in response to the coronavirus, as cases continue to rise in the UK. Businesses throughout Europe could be set to face significant difficulties as a result of government-imposed quarantines.

    But just how much of an impact will COVID-19 have on the global economy if it continues unabated? And could it affect the UK’s chances of achieving a post Brexit free trade deal with Brussels? Political commentator Bob Lister gave his views on the matter.

    Sputnik: Should the British Government enforce stricter quarantines in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus?

    Bob Lister: Personally, I think the first priority is health. We need to learn a lesson from Italy and have a lockdown immediately, and not later, we need to do it now.

    If we had a lockdown for a couple of weeks; we would protect the economy by isolating ourselves from the virus. I keep on hearing people that come back from Hong Kong and other places, they have tested in Hong Kong but when they get back to England there is nothing, they just drift through customs, there’s no testing whatsoever for people coming back from other countries, coming back into the UK.

    Boris Johnson really needs to get to grips with it, especially now Nadine Dorries the MP has been self-isolating with a positive case of the Coronavirus; it’s really beginning to bite, and we need to lockdown now I think.

    Sputnik: Will the cutting of interest rates help protect businesses from any potential damage caused by the Coronavirus?

    Bob Lister: With regards to the interest rate cuts; obviously we are going to have the budget soon, but I’m not sure really whether it’s going to be a proper budget or just an interim budget to try and protect people from the effects of the Coronavirus.

    Sputnik: Could Brexit negotiations be postponed yet again, as a result of potential pan-European lockdowns?

    Bob Lister: There will be companies that will be suffering, most definitely, but we certainly shouldn’t delay Brexit, which is the other crucial thing, we should proceed with Brexit, and these things can be done not face to face, they can be done on WhatsApp, Skype, voiceover IP, they can be done remotely and done have to be done face to face.

    We’re a small island, we just need to protect ourselves and lockdown the ports, the airports, and make sure that there is proper testing, there is no testing at all at the moment, and there needs to be testing I think.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (496)
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