ALTHOUGH scores of MPs are unhappy with England's tougher tier system, the rules are expected to pass through Parliament today. 

The Prime Minister is braced for a damaging Tory rebellion as MPs vote on a new toughened system of tiered coronavirus controls for England.

The plan is for England to head back into a tier system tomorrow, December 2 - but this time, rules are tougher and more regions have been placed in the top tier.

With Conservative MPs deeply unhappy at the extent of the restrictions, the vote is likely to throw Tory divisions into sharp relief.

However, the Government is expected to win after Labour said it would abstain.

Sir Keir Starmer – who has previously backed Government measures – said while his party had “serious misgivings” it would not be in the national interest to vote them down when the virus still posed a “serious risk”.

Only the Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been designated for the lightest Tier 1 restrictions.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned Conservative MPs threatening to rebel against new coronavirus restrictions that backing them is key in avoiding a third national lockdown.

His plea came as Boris Johnson said on Monday it would be wrong to “take our foot off the throat of the beast” now, with up to 100 Tories unhappy about the tiered approach for England.

The Prime Minister acknowledged that “lots of people think that they are in the wrong tier” but insisted the measures set to come into force on Wednesday are needed to slow the spread of Covid-19.

When is the tier system vote in Parliament? 

The vote will take pace today, December 1, in the House of Commons. 

It's scheduled to start at 12.45pm, after Treasury questions at 11.30am. The vote could be as late as this evening.

Where you can watch the vote

The debate and vote can be watched on BBC and Sky, via iPlayer and YouTube respectively, or on the UK Parliament YouTube channel. 

Can MPs block the vote?

While controversial, the Government is expected to win after Labour said it would abstain.

Covid Recovery Group chairman Mark Harper said members would read the impact assessments overnight before deciding whether to support the Government.

Sir Graham Brady, the influential chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, said he was almost certain to vote against the Government unless the regulations were amended.

“I am pretty certain to vote against the Government. My concerns about the impact on civil liberties and fundamental human rights are there regardless,” he told an online event organised by the free market Institute of Economic Affairs.

“The fact is that my own constituency (Altrincham and Sale West) has been put inside the wrong tier without good justification – unless that were to change, it makes it inevitable that I would vote against.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the party would be abstaining in Tuesday’s Commons vote on the coronavirus restrictions.

He said: “Coronavirus remains a serious threat to the public’s health and that’s why Labour accept the need for continued restrictions. We will always act in the national interest, so we will not vote against these restrictions in Parliament tomorrow.

“However, I remain deeply concerned that Boris Johnson’s Government has failed to use this latest lockdown to put a credible health and economic plan in place.

“We still don’t have a functioning testing system, public health messaging is confused, and businesses across the country are crying out for more effective economic support to get them through the winter months. It is short-term Government incompetence that is causing long-term damage to the British economy.

“It is imperative that the Government gets control of the virus so that our NHS can be protected and our economy recovers faster.”

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has said the party’s MPs are prepared to not back the Government’s plans.

Increasing pressure amid a potentially large Tory rebellion, Sir Ed wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say the 11 Lib Dem MPs would withhold their support unless a series of demands were met, including the Government publishing the scientific evidence underpinning the plans, detailing a clearer exit strategy and providing extra financial support for pubs.

In a statement, the MP added: “As it stands, we cannot in all conscience vote for this unsafe plan. The Government has failed once again to put together a plan to bring the virus under control and keep people safe.

“The new tier system is arbitrary, confused and chaotic, and the Government has failed yet again to deliver the test, trace and isolate strategy to beat this virus and end this pandemic.”