The government’s proposed plan to extend Sunday trading hours has been rejected after MPs voted against the bill.
The plans were rejected as MPs voted 317 to 286 to scrap the proposal. The Labour Party and the Scottish National Party (SNP) voted against the plans, along with 27 Conservative rebels.
The SNP previously pledged not to vote on issues affecting just England and Wales, but said it feared the changes could lead to pay cuts for shopworkers’ in Scotland.
Mike Cherry, policy director at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), commented that the vote was a “major win” for small businesses across England and Wales.
He said: “Our members have been unconvinced of the economic case for relaxing Sunday trading rules and there has been no impact assessment to support the proposals. FSB calls on ministers to listen to the views of small business and of the House of Commons on this issue.
“The current system can be seen as a great British compromise which allows families to spend time together, employees to work if they wish to, and provides much needed support for smaller retailers within their communities.”
The proposed plans would have seen local councils given the power to extend Sunday trading hours within their geographical area, or specific parts of their geography where they want to grow their economy and increase footfall.
It would also have given local councils the power to exclude out-of-town supermarkets from extended Sunday hours, in a bid to encourage consumers back to the high street.
Small shops can currently open when they want on Sunday, but those over 3,000 sq ft can only open for six hours, between 10am and 6pm.