Relax Sunday shop regulations, Tory MP says

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MORE people would have the chance to go to church if ‘out-of-date and absurd’ Sunday trading laws are scrapped, MPs have been told.

Conservative MP Philip Davies insisted the laws should be fully relaxed to mirror longer opening hours in Scotland, as he said the current regulations no longer protect ‘Mr Miggins’ pie shop or Mrs Miggins’ greengrocer shop’ but Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Both Labour and the government noted they would object to additions to the Deregulation Bill proposed by Mr Davies and fellow Tory David Nuttall.

The backbench MPs had called for either the repeal of the Sunday Trading Act 1994, an extension of trading hours on Sundays or a temporary suspension of the restrictions during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games or the Rugby World Cup 2015 – a move adopted during the London 2012 Olympics.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Nuttall asked Mr Davies: ‘Do you agree that the choice as to whether someone attends church or goes shopping is the same choice regardless of the number of hours that larger shops can remain open?’

Mr Davies replied: ‘You are absolutely right. I know you’re a church warden.

‘And actually most church services I see on a Sunday are at 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock in the morning when the shops are open... extending the Sunday trading hours, there’d be more opportunity for people to go to church.’