Form of Ballot Paper

Part of Schedule – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 24th November 1997.

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Photo of Nick Raynsford Nick Raynsford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions) 6:30 pm, 24th November 1997

The hon. Gentleman made the same proposal last week, but, in the five days since then, nothing has been forthcoming. I do not blame him for that—he probably has other things to do—but if the matter was such an overriding priority, I do not doubt that a form of words that satisfied the hon. Gentleman could have been included in an amendment. So far, the evidence is that no formulation has been devised that encapsulates the varied concerns of the people who believe that there might be a second question.

My third point—this is in response to the right hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster—is that some of the permutations would be unworkable. In my view, it would be improper for a Government to put forward a proposition that they believed to be unworkable—that would be constitutional nonsense.

Fourthly, we are trying to present to the people of London, in line with our manifesto commitment, a clear proposition on which they can make a considered judgment. It is our considered view that the question as spelled out in the schedule does that. I warmly commend the schedule.