The UK Government should work “more closely and collaboratively” with Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as it tackles the spread of Covid-19, a review into the government's handling of the pandemic has found. 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group will today launch the first major cross-party report into the Government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which will include recommendations to "work more closely and collaboratively with the devolved nations", Sky News reports.

"Each devolved administration should retain the ability and capacity to respond to its own needs where necessary, but within the framework of an agreed four-nation strategy," it states.

And the report warns its recommendations are now "more important than ever", accusing the government of "gambling with the UK's future by relaxing restrictions over the Christmas period and returning to a tier system which we know has not worked before".

The group, set up in July, has heard from 65 witnesses in over 200 hours of live evidence sessions, as well as almost 3,000 separate evidence submissions.

In the report, cross-party MPs have made more than 40 recommendations to the UK Government "so that its preparedness and response may be improved in future".

So far in the UK, nearly 60,000 people have died from Covid-19 according to government figures - one of the "highest number of lives lost to the pandemic".

The report says the government's approach, based on a "false choice between saving lives or saving jobs and the economy" has led not only to a high number of lives lost, but to the UK having to brace for "one of the deepest recessions in its aftermath".

The report blames an "English exceptionalism" approach, whereby the UK has not looked to other countries with experience of similar pandemics.

It reads: "There's no doubt there was a delay in seeking advice from those countries, including Italy, where this experience had already happened."

As reported in Sky News, Lib Dem MP and APPG chair Layla Moran writes in the report's foreword: "The central objective of the APPG on coronavirus is to save lives but, as is laid bare in this report, to save lives is to save livelihoods. To do that, the government must listen and adapt.

"We write this report with the sincere hope that, by working cross-party with scientists, civil society and individuals, we can help the government to do what we need it to do at this time of national crisis: succeed."