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 7:04 pm on 23rd March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Adam Afriyie Adam Afriyie Conservative, Windsor 7:04 pm, 23rd March 2020

I certainly do, and my hon. Friend has made the point very well. That is the central thrust of what I am saying.

One of the key aspects of the virus, and a key reason why it is so aggressive, intrusive, ambitious and quick to move around is that it may well have the ability to mutate. If that were to happen, I should like confirmation from the Government that they have in the Bill the powers necessary to ramp up the actions that they have taken in the wording of the Bill.

Overall, I very much welcome this piece of legislation, but I should like clarification about why the Civil Contingencies Act was not used, as it was carefully thought through and includes a lot of checks and balances. Secondly, I should also like reassurance that if some of the powers under the Act were deployed on the streets of our country, Parliament would in some way—I know that Ministers are responsive, and the Prime Minister has shown great leadership and is seeking to do the absolute best for the nation—be able to express, even in recess, concerns to which Government Ministers and the Executive could respond quickly, rather than at the end of a six or three-month period, or a two-year period.