Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Coronavirus Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:01 pm on 23rd March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care 4:01 pm, 23rd March 2020

Let me make a little more progress in answering my right hon. Friend Sir Edward Leigh, and then of course I will give way.

The Bill is jointly agreed between the four UK Governments. Of course, there are measures that are significant departures from the way we normally do things, but they are strictly temporary. I think that they are proportionate to the threat we face, and they will be activated only on the basis of the best possible scientific evidence. Crucially, to my right hon. Friend’s point, the legislation is time-limited for two years and the measures can each be switched on and off individually as necessary by the relevant authority, whether that is the UK Government or the devolved Government, depending on who exercises the powers. As an additional safeguard, we today tabled an amendment to give the House the opportunity to confirm that the powers are still required every six months.