On Wednesday night, Mr Johnson asked those European workers who had left the UK following the outbreak of the coronavirus to come back to Britain as the lockdown begins to be eased. Schools started to reopen at the beginning of this month while non-essential shops will prepare to reopen on June 15. With that in mind, Mr Johnson asked those who had returned to their European countries to come back to the UK to begin the economic recovery.
In response to the Prime Minister, MEP for Belgium and former EU Parliament Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt aimed yet another dig at Mr Johnson.
Mr Verhofstadt said: “But I thought that foreigners stealing British jobs was one of the reasons you wanted Brexit?”
However, many online commentators were left furious at his remark and took to Twitter to fire back at the MEP for misunderstanding Brexit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
One person said: “No, that’s your only line of defence, propaganda.
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“We just want the control of our country back so we can decide who comes and goes, not you.”
Another said: “You misunderstood, it is now our choice, not your choice.
“That’s what sovereignty is.”
A third said: “We love Europe but not the EU!”
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A fourth said: “No, that was the false narrative you and Remainers pushed to scare people into voting Remain lest they be labelled xenophobes.
“Luckily, a vast majority did not buy it.”
Under Mr Johnson’s plan, the UK is currently within the second phase of the lockdown strategy.
However, with the mortality rate falling the Government has indicated the UK will soon move to the third phase.
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Under the third phase, parts of the hospitality industry will begin to reopen.
This, however, will not happen any earlier than July 4.
Pubs and restaurants will be under this bracket although as indicated by the Government, the plans may be changed if the infection rate begins to rise.
The infection or R-rate has been maintained below one for some time.
UK stages of lockdown
The R-rate is crucial in the UK’s plan against the virus and represents the rate of secondary infections.
Some scientists, however, have claimed the infection rate is still too high to begin easing lockdown restrictions.
Professor Catherine Noakes, part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has hit out at claims that removing the two-metre social distancing measures can now take place.
She told The Times: “There are too many cases in the community for us to consider going below two metres.
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“There is transmission happening already, when we’ve been applying the two-metre distancing.
“If we reduce it, essentially, you double the risk.
“Where you have a poorly-ventilated room and someone is four metres away – if there’s a high viral shedder in that room, that could cause an infection.”