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Coronavirus Bill

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

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

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend, who has worked hard to ensure that we come to a solution in the Bill, through the amendments we have tabled today, that ensures we can not only have dignity in the case of a large proportion of the workforce not being available, but accede to the wishes of families from the many different faith communities who had concerns about the way it was originally drafted. I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend the Paymaster General, who found a way through that I think everybody can be content with.

Essentially, the Bill gives all four UK Governments a legislative and regulatory toolkit to respond in the right way at the right time by working through the action plan. While I hope that some of the powers never have to be used, we will not hesitate to act if that is what the situation requires.