Christ!” is reportedly what the prime minister exclaimed when he was told that more than 3 million jobs will be lost in the hospitality trade unless lockdown is eased this month.

The warning was issued during a meeting with Alok Sharma, the business secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, but the shocking figure should probably have come as no surprise to Boris Johnson.

Everyone agrees that the British economy is probably already in recession (being two successive quarters of “negative growth”) and is undergoing the sharpest slump in about 300 years.

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