Dominic Raab kicked off his interview on Good Morning Britain by discussing his intention for a global ceasefire so war-torn countries can have the opportunity to roll out the coronavirus vaccine. However, Kate Garraway questioned why he’d decided to start with this topic over the UK’s hotel quarantine “shambles” for some travellers. Raab accused Garraway of being “cynical” but the GMB presenter hit back and placed the blame for the teething-problems with the Foreign Secretary.
After Raab discussed his global ceasefire plans, Garraway asked about the “absolute shambles” of the quarantine procedure for travellers from high-risk countries.
Garraway said: “It’s a laudable aim I don’t think there’s anybody who wouldn’t want a ceasefire. I don’t anybody would begrudge the idea of people getting vaccines because it benefits the whole world if they do.
“But I wonder if people might be surprised that’s what you want to talk about this morning something involving the global situation, when something else that comes under your purview is being seen as an absolute shambles.
“I’m talking about the situation with quarantining. Over the last couple of days we’ve heard, and this are anecdotal so if you could clear it up that might be helpful.”
“Some people in charge of the security and control of those coming back in from those red-listed countries were only given the rules three hours before,” she continued.
“We’ve heard of people going to different airports to try and get out of it. We’ve had a member of our own staff who met somebody who just came back from Dubai and actually had got on to public transport who didn’t know anything about the quarantine, hadn’t declared it.
“Who is checking that this very expensive hotel quarantine system which some people are having to pay for, who is checking that the right people are actually doing it?”
“So first of all Kate the timing of this, it’s rather cynical what you suggested. I don’t think that’s fair at all,” Raab replied.
“The UK’s president in the security council set this well in advance and the debate was set well in advance.”
“Hang on I wasn’t saying anything cynical,” Garraway hit back. “We were told that you wanted to talk about that this morning and it’s an important thing to talk about but I’m just thinking everybody watching is going to be thinking ‘Why is he talking about that when we’ve got this chaos at home?’
“And it’s my job to put their thoughts to you so you’re welcome to explain why you decided to put that above the situation that’s such a fiasco.”
Raab quipped: “No I’m happy to talk about both things and I think your approach is rather cynical. Let me address the question you’ve asked, which is first of all we already had a system in place where anyone that’s returning to the UK needs to take Covid test, fill out a passenger location form.
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“What we’ve done is insist on an additional line of defence through the government commissioned hotel quarantine.
“It, of course, is a challenge we’re saying that unless you’re a British national you can’t come back from this high-risk areas but in relation to British nationals we’ve got to try and find a responsible and safe route through and it’s difficult to enforce.”
“I know it’s difficult to enforce but it’s your job to do it,” Garraway swiped. “So who is doing it and why aren’t the people at the airport and why are people, who have done the right thing and gone to the quarantine hotels, finding that people in the hotels aren’t wearing masks they’re being allowed to go out to smoke cigarettes which makes a nonsense of the isolation?
“It’s all very well to have the idea, it’s putting something in place to actually see it through, isn’t it?”
“So as I was trying to explain to you of course enforcement is difficult in a country where we don’t have the control over the law enforcement authorities but we’ve got a series…,” Raab began.
Interrupting him, Garraway said: “It’s here I’m talking about, we do have control.”
“Can you let me answer the question?” Raab asked but the presenter hit back: “You’re saying things I haven’t said so I’ve got clarify it or otherwise you’re not going to have the chance to answer the question if you haven’t understood it.”
“Why don’t you pause and let me explain then you can pick holes in it because I think people get fed up with the media not allowing us to try and at least give honest answers even if you don’t accept them.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.