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Coronavirus Bill: Priti Patel handed ground-breaking new powers to SHUT ports in UK crisis

THE new Coronavirus Bill will give Home Secretary, Priti Patel the ability to close ports in order to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

The bill states: “The proposed powers will allow the Secretary of State to direct a port operator (i.e. a person responsible for the management of a port) to suspend relevant operations, partially or wholly, in the event that there are insufficient resources to adequately secure the border.

“The power will also provide for the Secretary of State to issue supplementary directions to other parties if the Secretary of State considers it necessary in connection with the primary direction.”

The legislation added that Ms Patel will only use these powers when it is “necessary and proportionate and once all relevant alternative mitigations” have run out.

Any failure to comply with a port authority directive, or “supplementary direction without reasonable cause”, will result in a criminal offence.

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