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Engagements

Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 29th April 2020.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I will just remind the right hon. and learned Gentleman that, as I set out on 16 April, SAGE advised against any changes to social distancing measures at that point. The reason is that that would risk a substantial increase in the infection rate. SAGE is reviewing the evidence again in early March. He has asked for a timeframe and a date. We cannot give it until we have the SAGE evidence. If he thinks there are things we could be announcing—whether it is about the workplace, to which he referred, schools or otherwise—he should feel free to propose those things, but I would gently say that, based on the advice and evidence from SAGE, which he says he wants to closely follow, it would be very difficult for us to responsibly set out those proposals before we have had that subsequent advice from SAGE, both on the rate of infection and the death rate and on the measures that it would be responsible to take. That is why—with the greatest respect; I understand he is trying to be constructive—we cannot be pulled into making proposals in advance without SAGE opining.