Plans to allow retailers to stay open longer on Sundays have been met with staunch opposition as Tory MPs threaten to boycott the proposals.
Ministers and parliamentary private secretaries (PPSs) have vowed to stop the deregulation of Sunday trading laws, which would give local authorities power to extend Sunday opening hours.
The proposals were unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne last year, but according to a north London MP, they face stiff opposition ahead of next week’s Budget statement.
‘Strength of opposition’
David Burrowes, Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, said: “There are 23 Conservatives who have signed up to stop the government’s plan to deregulate Sunday trading for large shops and more lined up to oppose or abstain including ministers and PPSs.
“Government should recognise the strength of opposition for a plan that was not in our manifesto and should at least agree a compromise which restricts deregulation to tourist zones.”
Labour and Scottish Labour are also opposed to the relaxation of Sunday trading. Jeremy Corbyn and the leader of Scottish Labour, Kezia Dugdale, have jointly written to the SNP urging the party to stand against the plans.
In the letter, Corbyn and Dugdale said Labour was “strongly opposed” to the Bill, which would “lead to the gradual erosion and diminution of workers’ pay and rights across the UK”, reports Sky News.