Sunday 7 June 2020 2:49 pm

Labour not supportive of changing Sunday trading laws

Labour has said it does not support the government’s move to scrap trading laws in England, which will allow super markets to open for more than six hours on Sundays.

Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said she wasn’t convinced the changes would help stimulate the economy and that they would also deprive workers of seeing their loved ones.

Read more: Boris Johnson moves to ease lockdown faster in face of mass job losses

Speaking to the BBC today, she said: “Longer trading hours aren’t really the issue, it’s how you stimulate demand.

“We’ve just been applauding our frontline workers, supermarket workers are amongst those, they’re deeply worried about what this will mean for them in terms of times with their families.”

Boris Johnson is poised to lift Sunday trading restrictions for at least one year to help stimulate the economy in the face of mass jobs losses.

The Sunday Times reports that it will be one of a raft of measures the government will implement to speed up the easing of the lockdown, in the face of figures that show 3.5m jobs are at risk.

The trading laws, which came into place in 1994,  limit shops with retail space over 280 square metres to a maximum of six hours of trading on Sundays.

Johnson’s plan would see larger shops like super markets able to open for more than six hours on a Sunday.

The plan has the backing of chancellor Rishi Sunak, business secretary Alok Sharma and Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings.

British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall said changing the laws was a vital step to get the economy moving again.

Read more: Coronavirus is a ‘devastating blow’ to the economy, says World Bank chief

“Businesses need to be given every possible opportunity to start to generate sales again,” he said.

“If there are rules that can be relaxed to give more companies a fighting chance to trade their way through this crisis without compromising safety, ministers should do everything in their power to make it happen.”

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