SNP to Block Government Plans to Relax Sunday Trading Laws

Plans to relax Sunday trading laws to keep larger shops open for longer than 6 hours may be defeated by the SNP in the commons.

The SNP, who have decided to vote against the motion, will join forces with a group of ‘rebel’ Tory MPs who are also against the changing laws.

George Osborne outlined proposals in his Summer Budget to hand over the power to set Sunday trading laws onto local councils and mayors, which would make it easy to increase Sunday trading hours.

Despite the legislation only affecting England and Wales, the SNP fears that premium wages that are currently paid for Sunday hours will be cut across the whole of the UK.

Working closely with the shop workers union USDAW, the SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson said “we will not undermine shop workers”. Though not opposed to Sunday trading in principal, Robertson pointed out that there was a danger that Sunday would be seen as “just another day”, leading to a fall in wages.

The government first proposed the longer trading hours to help high street shops compete with the rise of online shopping.

After the consultation on Sunday trading hours over the summer, ministers are now considering a delay to the proposals after the combined opposition of Labour, the SNP and the Conservative rebels.