MPs from a range of political parties have raised concerns in parliament about the government’s plans to devolve decisions on Sunday trading to local authorities.
Many MPs were expecting the proposals to be included as an amendment to the Cities & Devolution Bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday. However, this clause was not proposed as an amendment at this stage, with ministers not confirming if and when this policy would be brought into legislation.
ACS chief executive, James Lowman said: “We are pleased that MPs from across the House are raising their concerns about the proposals to liberalise Sunday trading. This follows an intense period of work from ACS and other groups in the Keep Sunday Special campaign, briefing MPs about the negative economic and social impact of these proposals.
“We are now waiting to see how the government wishes to proceed, and we hope that they are listening carefully to the many voices inside and outside parliament who believe these proposals would be damaging.”
If the government wishes to press ahead with the plans – announced at the July budget and subject to a consultation which closed on 16 September – it will have to introduce an amendment to the Cities & Devolution Bill at committee stage, likely to start next week, or consider other mechanisms for bringing the proposals into law. The government has not yet published its response to its consultation on Sunday trading devolution.