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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

We certainly will engage. I have enjoyed the telephone calls with Opposition leaders, including the right hon. and learned Gentleman. I just gently say that if he is suggesting that we can set out concrete proposals now, despite clear evidence and advice from SAGE that we should wait for their review of evidence in the next week or so, that is the wrong thing to do. If he thinks he knows better than SAGE and the scientists, he needs to explain that. He talked about the Scottish Government. They have not set out an exit strategy. I read their 25-page document carefully. It was eminently sensible and grounded in the five tests that I set out on 16 April. He talked about some of the other European countries, but he will know, because he is an assiduous follower of the international evidence, that Germany is now having to think twice about easing up the measures because of the risk of a second spike. That is exactly the risk that the Governor of the Bank of England referred to last week, that I referred to on 16 April and that SAGE and the scientists have referred to.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman is trying and succeeding in engaging in a very constructive way. He has a strong professional reputation from when he was Director of Public Prosecutions of being guided by the evidence. That is much to his credit. I gently say that he should not abandon that rigour now.