First, may I tell the Secretary of State that no one wants to let the virus rip, and that such language is unhelpful? Secondly, as I understand it, the Government’s intention is to continue shutting down our country’s economy to a greater or lesser extent, destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the process, until a vaccine is found. That might never happen, and even if it does, there is no guarantee that it will work. We need a plan B, and I would be grateful if my right hon. Friend could tell the House what that is.
The plan is that, as my hon. Friend and I agree, we cannot let the virus rip, and therefore we must act to suppress it. Suppressing it through local action, in the first instance, is our best tool while we work with the scientists on technology that can help us to do that better. I put it to him that not only is that best for health outcomes, although that is undoubtedly true for both covid and non-covid health outcomes, but it is best for economic outcomes. Even though the restrictions have their impacts—I understand that, and I feel that—they are better than the consequences of the action that would have to be taken to keep the virus under control were it to get out of hand once again.