Sunday trading extension setback

Sunday trading extensions are unlikely to be passed by Parliament as more line up against the proposals.

The Scottish National Party will vote against the changes amid fears it could drive down Scottish workers' wages.

With other opposition MPs expected to join forces with 20 Tory rebels, the plans may not even go to a vote.

Chancellor George Osborne promised in the Budget earlier this year that councils and mayors would get the power to set Sunday trading laws in their areas.

Large stores, including garden centres, and supermarkets can currently open for only six hours every Sunday. The HTA has campaigned strongly for Sunday trading extensions.

Shopworkers' union Usdaw has told the SNP that retailers would pay for the extra hours by cutting wages across the UK, including those of Scottish workers currently being paid premium wages for Sunday work.

Federation of Wholesale Distributors chief executive James Bielby said: "As things stand it is unlikely to go to a vote. The SNP are against  the changes as are as many as 20 Conservative MPs, so it would be very difficult for the Government to get it through the House."

Conservatives planning to vote against Sunday Trading include: Caroline Ansell, Fiona Bruce, David Burrowes, Maria Caulfield, Byron Davies, Steve Double, Roger Gale, Gordon Henderson, Gerald Howarth, Stewart Jackson, David Jones, Jeremy Lefroy, Karl McCartney, Caroline Spelman, Gary Streeter, Derek Thomas, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Andrew Turner, and Martin Vickers. 

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