Exactly; the audience awaits—or, as my three-year-old managed to learn to say the other day, “And the crowd goes wild!”. That surprised me coming out of the mouth of a three-year-old, but perhaps the same will be true of the Parliamentary Constituencies Bill Committee.
What does clause 8 do? It removes the legal obligation to implement the 2018 boundary review. As hon. Members will recall from when we discussed clause 5, the Bill will amend the existing legislation to ensure that we continue to have 650 parliamentary constituencies, as we do now. In order to achieve that, clause 5 set the number of constituencies at 650 for future reviews. That in itself does not resolve the current legal obligation on the Government to implement the 2018 boundary review, which was based on 600.
The boundary commissions have submitted their final reports for that review, but the recommendations have yet to be brought into legal effect. Clause 8 therefore brings the 2018 boundary review to a close without implementation. It removes the Government’s obligation to bring the recommendations of the 2018 review into effect, because those proposals would take us down to 600 constituencies at the next election, which this Committee has already agreed is undesirable.
Under this clause, that obligation would be removed retrospectively, with effect from
I will make a brief comment, not least to give the Minister a breather and a chance to get some water as she rattles through the clauses. I just ask her whether she is pleased to be able to have clause 8 in the Bill because the 2018 review did not have the automaticity clause that future reviews will have.
The debate would not have been complete had the hon. Lady not raised that point. I think it is fair to say that we have answered that one comprehensively in the course of these Committee proceedings so far; and given that we have also already agreed that automaticity is the right thing to do in this Bill, I am not going to entertain the argument any further.