Gov to Use Extra Covid Sitting to Try Pass Island Plan

There will be an additional sitting on Tynwald on Tuesday, which the gov has also decided to use to try and pass its Island Plan.

The sitting has been called for President Laurence Skelly to allow for the easing of Covid measures to be passed in law, but the Island Plan has been tacked onto the end.

Sitting after Keys has finished on Tuesday February 1, members will be asked to agree to the loosening of Covid regs on the island, as well as changes around border entry for vaccinated children.

Tynwald needs to approve the measures set out by the gov last week within 14 days or else they will fail, but the addition of the Island Plan is a surprise.

It was only last week that members voted against debating the Island Plan at the January sitting of Tynwald, with several MHKs agreeing that they had been given insufficient time to read the document. After that sitting, Chief Minister Alf Cannan said he was ‘surprised’ that eight MHKs voted against moving it.

Speaker Juan Watterson was the only person, other than the Chief to speak when the motion was moved to suspend standing orders to allow the Plan to be moved. He asked members of CoMin who had been backbenchers in the previous administration to ‘remember that and what it did for their confidence in government and for public confidence in government’.

Now, despite Tynwald sitting again in February anyway, the gov will again seek to move the Island Plan at this sitting.

However, as it has not completed its full six weeks on the Tynwald Business Register, which was created to allow members of the public and politicians more time to explore and question government policy, it will still require a vote to allow it to be taken. Unlike when members refused permission for it to be taken, the Island Plan will only need a majority of MLCs and MHKs to support it being moved as while it hasn’t been on the Register for six weeks, it will be on the order paper.

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