Responding to reports that civil servants dealing with coronavirus have been redeployed to no-deal planning, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
"The Government’s continuing rejection of calls for an extension to Brexit talks is reckless and flies in the face of the current efforts by everyone to tackle the coronavirus crisis. The reports that civil servants are being diverted from dealing with the virus to no-deal planning, as well as Michael Gove’s stubborn response this morning, shows the Government is determined to see the British public go from one crisis to the next.
"As we witness coronavirus continue to take lives across the UK, especially in our care homes and on the frontline, it is outrageous that the Government are pulling resources away from tackling the spread of the disease. This Conservative Government are putting ideology above people’s lives, when far too many have already been tragically lost.
"To press ahead with Brexit on the previous timetable is dangerous. The Government must extend the transition period so they can focus on getting our frontline workers the protective equipment they need and the strategy to test, trace and isolate to keep people safe in place."