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Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:35 am on 18th November 2016.

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Photo of Oliver Letwin Oliver Letwin Conservative, West Dorset 11:35 am, 18th November 2016

It was indeed a choice. What my hon. Friend does not recognise, though, is that it was perfectly clear, having done the sums, that we were not, at the end of it all, going to get anything through, so we would have achieved the miracle of sacrificing almost the entire rest of our programme for the sake of achieving nothing whatsoever. That was not an attractive prospect, and that is why we withdrew the proposal, even though the corollary of doing so—this is the supreme irony of discussing the matter today—was that the Liberal Democrats in the coalition refused to support the implementation of the very changes that we are now discussing.