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MP’s Call for Sunday Trading Laws to Be Relaxed
A cross party group of 40 MP’s and 150 prominent council leaders are calling for Sunday trading laws to be relaxed to boost jobs and to help shops compete with online retailers.
In an open letter to the Sunday Telegraph, the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) which includes London Mayor Boris Johnson, along with former ministers Grant Schapps and Dan Poulter said: “Nowadays people rightly expect greater flexibility in all aspects of their lives. Being able to shop when it’s convenient is one such freedom. Yet whilst times and attitudes have changed, Sunday Trading laws have stayed the same. Our high streets and physical retailers have been left trying to compete with 24/7 online shopping. A task which is made harder by a shortened trading day at the weekend, just when many families might hope to go shopping together.”
Sunday trading laws were last updated in 1994 with shops over 280sq m only being allowed to open for six consecutive hours between 10:00 and 18:00. Retailers can be fined up to £50,000 if they break the law. A new study has concluded that the economy would benefit by up to £1.4 billion if rules on what is the second busiest shopping day of the week were relaxed.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid, has announced that powers to extend trading hours would be included in the forthcoming Enterprise Bill. Any move to change the law though is likely to receive strong opposition from shop workers and religious leaders.