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That this House deplores the Government's intention to award legal aid franchises to a limited number of contractors, effectively abolishing a client's right to choose their legal representation; notes that this will reduce the quality of legal representation to the lowest standard possible; further notes the fact that firms currently compete on quality of service and will henceforth be required to compete on the basis of price; regrets the damning effect which this further reform of legal aid is likely to have on high street solicitors firms who are likely to either close or abandon legal aid cases; further notes that this will have a very detrimental effect on the provision of services through the medium of the Welsh language; further notes that this will create vast advice deserts in many rural areas; further regrets the departure from the principle of equality of arms before the law and the rights of all citizens to access to justice; and calls on the Government to abandon this ill-thought through reform immediately.
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leave out from 'House' to 'intention' and insert, 'urges the Government to reconsider its'.
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