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Covid-19

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:38 pm on 17th March 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 12:38 pm, 17th March 2020

I particularly welcome the bipartisan tone that the hon. Gentleman has taken. I thank him for welcoming the statement and particularly for recognising and paying tribute to the consular staff and wider FCO teams who, in very difficult circumstances—not least given the advice that we in Government have given—are doing a tremendous job.

The hon. Gentleman asked about insurance companies. Obviously, they take their lead, at least to some degree, from the travel advice changes. One of the important things for the FCO to do is to give clear and decisive travel advice. That is one of the benefits of the statement that we have made today.

I certainly take on board the hon. Gentleman’s comments about working with the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor to make sure that we provide support to the airline sector, which is not only important for jobs—we also need it to help get UK nationals home. For the reasons I gave in my statement, we want to allow them to do that through normal commercial means.