The prime minister is getting too comfortable with a pandemic regime that allows him to escape scrutiny and accountability

Even in the most extreme emergency, the prime minister does not have the power to make law by himself, live on television. The pandemic has sometimes created the impression that something along those lines is happening when Boris Johnson announces new lockdown rules, but his words are mere guidance until parliament upgrades them.

That constitutional process matters. Britain’s apparatus of Covid regulations is not reminiscent of East Germany, nor is it evolving into “something akin to a police state”, as Nigel Farage claimed last week. The comparison is proved false by the liberty Mr Farage enjoys to make it.

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