Friday, 12 June 2020

Campaign response – Please prevent longer Sunday opening

Thank you to constituents working in the retail sector who have contacted me in recent weeks to express their concerns over possible changes to Sunday trading hours.
The Government has rightly focussed much of its efforts on supporting our much-loved high streets with important initiatives such as the Future High Streets Fund. Sunday trading laws are key to ensuring that we continue to have an environment where smaller, independent shops can compete fairly with larger shops like supermarkets. As evidence has shown, relaxing our Sunday trading laws would favour larger shops and further draw business away from smaller shops, many of which are already under significant pressure brought on by Covid-19.

I have already written to Alok Sharma, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to express my concerns on this issue. While I fully understand the importance of looking at our laws and regulations at this critical stage to ensure that they are enabling us to withstand the impact of Covid-19, I will be seeking reassurances from government ministers that any changes will be temporary and for as short a time as necessary. We certainly do not want to see these temporary changes to be setting a precedent for a permanent change in the law after we recover from the current crisis.