WE are increasingly seeing our treasured freedoms curtailed by draconian laws that are deemed necessary to fight this virus.

One of them is the Rule of Six that’s been in place for almost four weeks.

The law makes any gathering of more than six people indoors, or outdoors, illegal. Such an arbitrary rule – which allows single people from six different households to meet, yet forbids a family of five to meet two grandparents – is absurd.

So is the fact that children under 12 are counted in England, while those in Scotland and Wales are not.

On Tuesday evening, therefore, despite the vote being retrospective, I and 16 colleagues did not support the Government. Interestingly, it’s becoming more and more evident that lockdowns do not work, with infection rates rising in the north where this restriction is imposed.

The junior health minister facing the House during the debate was unable to justify what my colleague Graham Brady called “a massive intrusion into the liberty and private lives of the whole British people”. He’s spot on.

Dorset Echo: Mr Drax has said that lockdowns do not workMr Drax has said that lockdowns do not work

For the state to decide whether we can even see our families in our own homes is indeed an extreme intervention, one which I cannot support.

These measures are sold on the basis they are intended to protect us but, instead, they suffocate the recovery and demoralise those trying to keep the country going. 
The catastrophic economic effects are already showing in job losses and business failures. 

Many of Tuesday’s speakers demanded evidence to prove that the Rule of Six works and that it was temporary. Answers had they none.

Instead, and regrettably, even more stringent rules are being considered.

We need a Plan B, an exit strategy, a common-sense approach to a disease that is here to stay and one that we must learn to live with.