Local shops are calling on MPs and Peers to oppose legislation introduced to remove Sunday Trading restrictions across England and Wales this summer.

The Bill, which was introduced in the House of Lords on March 28, was signalled by the Chancellor in the Budget and is subject to a ‘fast track’ process. This will mean the Bill is expected to complete its passage through Parliament in as little as two days.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “MPs must not allow ill-conceived plans to liberalise Sunday Trading to be introduced by the back door. These are plans that are not fully costed, that rest on dubious assumptions about the potential benefits and will harm 10s of thousands of small shops across England and Wales. We are calling on MPs and Peers to oppose the measure and demand full and democratic scrutiny of the legislation.”

In announcing the Bill, Business Minister Mark Prisk MP said: “I also want to make it clear that this is a temporary measure and not a test case for a more permanent relaxation of the rules in the future.”

Commenting on these words James Lowman said: “Local shops will not be reassured by these statements and expect a firm commitment from Minister ruling out liberalisation of Sunday Trading rules.”

ACS, along with other bodies representing small businesses, are co-ordinating members to write to MPs between now and when the Bill is scheduled for debate after Easter. Retailers are sending postcards, emails and letters to MPs setting out the harm that liberalisation of the legislation will have on their business. MPs and Peers will debate the Bill shortly after the Easter Parliamentary Recess.  

Retailers can also show their support online at www.acs.org.uk/sundaytrading