MPs reject Sunday trading extension
Government plans to liberalise Sunday trading across England and Wales have been defeated in the House of Commons by 317 votes to 286
Ministers had wanted to give councils in England and Wales the freedom to determine opening hours for large shops in their area. In England and Wales stores that are over 280 square metres are allowed to open for six continuous hours, between the hours of 10am and 6pm.
However, the plans, which were not in the Conversative 2015 election manifesto, have been criticised by MPs from all parties. The government tried to persuade rebels by promising to introduce an amendment in the House of Lords that would see pilot schemes introduced which local authorities could apply for.
However, 317 MPs still rejected this and supported an amendment that will now see Sunday trading proposals deleted from the Enterprise bill.
The vote was welcmed by the charity Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), which has campaigned against removing the Sunday Trading Regulations. Its chief executive Nola Leach said, 'You cannot put a price on the importance of family life and so we are delighted MPs have kicked the government’s pointless Sunday trading plans into the long grass.
'The government have brought this very embarrassing defeat on themselves by bringing these anti-family plans back and doing so in a manner that denied MPs and Peers the chance to properly scrutinise the proposals.
'The total lack of transparency and the failure to publish the impact assessment of these proposals on family life until a few hours before the debate today is nothing short of lamentable.
'Given the quite extraordinary way the government have handled this whole business, it should be no surprise MPs rallied to defeat further liberalisation to Sunday trading across England and Wales.
'These proposals would have undermined small businesses, put new pressures on shop workers who do not want to work longer hours and eroded time off in common for families.'
'Today’s outcome is the right result and a victory for families, workers, small businesses and all the other groups who opposed these wholly unnecessary and unpopular plans.'