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10.03.16

Sunday trading changes defeated by Commons rebellion

Sunday trading reforms that would have seen the power to set opening and closing times devolved to local councils suffered a defeat in the House of Commons last night.

In a backbench rebellion, 27 Conservative MPs joined forces with Labour and the Scottish National Party (SNP), who revealed yesterday that they would not abstain from voting, to support a proposed amendment by Conservative MP David Burrowes to remove the plans from the Enterprise Bill.

The amendment passed by 317 votes to 286.

Speaking during the Commons debate, Burrowes said: “If we listen to our constituents … I have many shop workers, many faith groups and many others saying: why are we doing this? Why are we trying to unpick something that’s fairly settled?

“That’s me listening to my constituents. But also we have important principles as well. Those are complex arrangements for Sunday trading and it’s a duty on us to look at it carefully, to consult widely and also scrutinise it fairly. None of those things have happened to the regard that did happen back in the 1990s and 1980s.”

The Local Government Association, who were supporting the reforms, said they had no statement to offer.

(Image c. PA Wire from Press Association)

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