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Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:14 am on 18th November 2016.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office) 11:14 am, 18th November 2016

The facts are in front of us. At a time of global uncertainty and change, we need to reconsider the proposals because it is more than likely that we will have 73 fewer politicians in the coming years because no one will be elected to the European Parliament. Their workload will come to this place—not only the scrutiny of laws that are currently scrutinised in Brussels and Strasbourg, but all the extra work that goes with that. I am sure that all the lobbyists will find a track to Westminster. They will be cancelling their tickets to Brussels and will be wanting to speak about legislation to Members of Parliament here.

Although I am sure that Members on both sides will not shirk their duties, where is the sense in cutting the number of elected Members here when we have a massive job to do of unpicking 40 years of legislation regarding our relationship with the European Union and our partners within it and of scrutinising new trading arrangements with the rest of the world? Where is the sense in cutting the number of Members when the job of holding the Government to account is absolutely vital? With larger constituencies, we will inevitably have larger caseloads from our own constituents, too.