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Coronavirus Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:50 pm on 23rd March 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire 4:50 pm, 23rd March 2020

As always, I am listening with great attention to what the hon. Gentleman has to say. Does he agree that part of the problem is that policy has to be based on behavioural science, but behavioural science is one of the most imprecise of sciences? The difficulty is that it is not like chemistry or physics. It means that we have to have a wider margin of error when designing policy, and what that means, in effect, is erring on the side of caution and safety, which I think is the burden of the direction that he is urging on Ministers. In a sense, it is about getting ahead of the curve by bringing in measures that we would all regret. However, if we are going to base policy on behavioural science—it being fairly inexact and difficult to predict, as we have seen over the weekend—we have to have that margin of error and caution, which I think he is recommending.