Why Sunday trading regulations need to stay

Jun 13, 2020 by

from Keep Sunday Special, Conservative Home:

As we emerge from a generation-altering pandemic in need of new ideas and new ways to rebuild the economy, it sadly appears that this Government is still stuck looking to the past for inspiration.

The latest attempt to change Sunday trading regulations is brewing under the cloak of Coronavirus recovery, but this historically controversial policy that handed both Thatcher and Cameron defeats in the Commons is still nothing more than misdirection; an attempt to show that the Government is doing something to support the economy without having to produce anything of substance.

It’s not even as though abandoning the current regulations on Sunday trading is a popular measure that has been dashed by technicalities in the past. It’s not popular with the public; it’s not popular with experts on retail, and it’s certainly not popular with shop workers.

Consumer polling conducted by Populus just last month shows that the current Sunday trading regulations still have overwhelming support. Fifty-eight per cent of the public support them the way they are, compared with 21 per cent who think they should change. Of that number, a significant proportion are in favour of stricter regulations, such as a full closure of shops on Sundays.

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