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The Royal Mail needs the "commercial freedom" of the private sector to thrive, the government argued today.
Ministers have insisted that universal, six-day-a-week deliveries are guaranteed but despite the share "giveaway" to workers, the unions are opposed to privatisation calling it an "utterly reckless gamble".
Dave Ward, the Communication Workers Union's deputy general secretary, has told ITV News the sale of Royal Mail "will not secure the future long term success of the company".
Chuka Umunna has outlined Labour opposition to the privatisation of Royal Mail.
Speaking in the Commons, he said: "Maintaining the Royal Mail in public ownership gives the tax payer an on-going direct interest in the maintenance of the universal postal service in this country.
"It helps safeguard the vital link the Royal Mail has with the Post Office and it ensures the tax-payer gets the share in the upside of modernisation and increased profits that Royal Mail delivers."
Business Secretary Vince Cable says there are "various myths" that need rebutting concerning the Royal Mail sell-off.
He told The Commons: "Contrary to what is being claimed, after a sale, Royal Mail will still be the UK's universal service provider. This includes services to urban and rural areas and free services to the blind."
Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced Government's plans for the flotation of Royal Mail in the Commons.
He says the "overarching objective" of the plans is to "secure the universal postal service - the six-day-week service, uniform and affordable prices to all 29 million addresses in the UK, which is vital to the UK economy."
Dave Ward, the CWU's deputy general secretary, has predicted the privatisation of Royal Mail will mean it will fail meet the six-day-a-week universal service, which is protected in law.
He also told Today that rural areas would be "cut off" because it would be unprofitable to deliver to remote communities.
Latest ITV News reports
Royal Mail staff have accused the government of trying to "buy them off" over proposals to hand them free shares in the privatisation plan.
A plan to privatise the Royal Mail is the latest twist in its turbulent but distinguished history, which dates back to 1512.