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Published on Monday, April 27, 2020

Boris tells British business: 'Contain your impatience'



The Prime Minister has told British businesses he shares their concerns about the economy, but now is not the time to ease restrictions.





Speaking outside Downing Street on the first day of his return to work, after recovering from Covid-19, he said: "I know how hard and how stressful it has been to give up basic freedoms. Worrying about jobs or your firm.


"Let me say directly to British business, to the shopkeepers, entrepreneurs, hospitality sector, to everyone on whom our economy depends: I understand your impatience, I share your anxiety and I know that without our private sector, without the drive and commitment of the wealth creators of this country there will be no economy to speak of.


"I can see the long-term consequences of lockdown as clearly as anyone. I share your urgency.


"But we must recognise the risk of a second spike.


"We would be forced to slam on the brakes against the whole economy and do more damage. I want to get this economy going as fast as I can but I refuse to throw away the effort and sacrifice of the British people and risk a second major outbreak, huge loss of life and overwhelming of the NHS.


"Contain your impatience.


"When the first phase is over, then that will be the time to move to the second phase in which we begin to gradually refine economic and social restrictions.  The UK will emerge stronger."


Earlier in his speech, Johnson said: "It's still true that this is the biggest single challenge that this country has faced since the war.


"It's also true we are making progress. There's a real sense now that we are passing through the peak.


"Thanks to our national resolve we are on the brink of achieving that first clear aim."

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