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I am sure that my hon. Friend is not trying to put words in my mouth, but the phrase
"There are no proposals to sell Consignia" is pretty uncompromising. As I said, we now know that serious and detailed discussions took place for some eight months. Even if the Dutch post office is now out of the frame, one wonders about other negotiations that might involve selling Consignia to Deutsche Post or to any number of other interested organisations.
The sad truth is that the Government cannot find a buyer for our Post Office. The ultimate humiliation is that, under their stewardship, no one wants to buy it. As the Post Office staggers from crisis to crisis under this Government, it will not be long before it cannot even be given away.