Mark Durkan (Foyle) (SDLP): I thank the Minister for giving way. First, we had the Minister, a member of the union of barrel scrapers, presenting himself as an advocate for workers’ rights and interests. Now he is trying to tell us that he is selling on some sort of deferred click and collect basis—an option that is not available or in front of us today. Is the Minister not

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pushing something that will be a predictive text version of public policy that will end up becoming the default position for local authorities, firms and workers who do not want it?

Brandon Lewis: The hon. Gentleman is not quite correct. There is huge interest in this. I am talking about local authorities, consumers, people who work six days a week, families, workers who want the chance to work on a Sunday and businesses that want a chance to compete with the internet. A lot of cultural associations are very clear that this is worth a potential £75 million a year to our economy—and that is in their industry alone. In the main, I am talking about independent businesses. Potentially, there are thousands and thousands of jobs.

Several hon. Members rose

Brandon Lewis: I will take some interventions in a moment. If Members vote against amendment 1, as I am asking them to do, I will make sure that we have a pilot scheme that runs over 12 months, which will give us further evidence, so that we can come back to this House for full scrutiny, a debate and a vote.

Mr Mak: Does the Minister agree that another point of reassurance to hon. Members across the House is the fact that contained in the Government’s Bill are zoning provisions, which allow local authorities to choose the areas that will benefit from enhanced Sunday trading laws? That is a fair compromise.

Brandon Lewis: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. There is in the Bill an ability to zone. Local areas that want to carry out a pilot will be able to specify exactly how they want to do it and what that zone will look like. This scheme is all about absolutely trusting local people to do what they know is right for their area. By doing it this way, there is no need for amendment 1. Our intention is to increase freedom, protect shopworkers’ rights, grow our economy, and protect our high streets while devolving power from Whitehall to town halls. We want to see power devolving to local areas, because they know their economies and their high streets best and they want this power to see their economies grow.

Sir Edward Leigh: If Lincoln applies for a pilot and it goes ahead, will there not be intolerable pressure on West Lindsey next door? Tesco will say to West Lindsey and Gainsborough, “Unless you agree to join this, we will close you down and move to Lincoln.” It is not true devolution. I know that my hon. Friend is a very able Minister and that he is working very hard, but his arguments do not stack up. Frankly, even God took a rest on the seventh day. My hon. Friend should just sit down, rest his case and withdraw the measure.

Brandon Lewis: I thank my hon. Friend for his kind invitation to a rest, but I am happy to carry on and try to do the right thing for our economy for just a little bit longer. Let me tell him how this will practically work. As there will be only 12 pilots, no other area will be allowed to take part. If he looks at what we have circulated this afternoon, he will be able to see that the pilots will take place only in certain areas. After that, the matter will come back to this House for full assessment, full debate and full scrutiny.

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Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton) (Con): Before entering this place, I was in business for 25 years. It is absolutely right to consider the needs of large businesses and, of course, small businesses, and the family lives of workers, but, as all business people know, the customer comes first. If the customer wants to shop at other times at the weekend, should they not be allowed to do so, and is the pilot not the right way to take it forward? Members on both sides of the House say that customers do not want this policy, but should we not ask them, through a pilot, to see if they actually do want this and to see the effect that it has on small businesses in particular?

Brandon Lewis: My hon. Friend gets to the heart of a key issue: what is right for the wider community and for our consumers and residents? To build on his very direct point, let me add that I spoke to somebody just last week who made a very salient point: as someone who works in the health service six days a week, they really want this wider opportunity on a Sunday to shop in the way everybody else does on a Saturday, a Friday and a Thursday, and to spend time with their families in these shopping areas, supporting their high street, as many of us can on a Saturday. I am sure that there are many Members of this House who work hard on a Saturday and who might also take advantage of this freedom on a Sunday.

John Stevenson (Carlisle) (Con): I live in Carlisle. Last Sunday, I went shopping in Gretna. Is it not right that the people of Carlisle get the same opportunity as Scottish people to decide whether we should be open on Sundays?

Brandon Lewis: My hon. Friend will know as well as I do, if not better, that businesses in Carlisle want this power; indeed, the Labour local authority wants it, and it may well bid to be one of the pilots.

I should be very clear: if amendment 1 is not accepted today, we will only go forward in the other House with our new amendment, which will mean there are only 12 pilots—no more than that.

Victoria Borwick (Kensington) (Con): I thank the Minister for letting us know about the zoning proposals. Perhaps he could clarify whether London could be a zone itself, or whether that will be delegated to the individual local authorities. London is obviously a diverse area, and many people would appreciate working on Sundays, whereas they would not like to work on another day—so there is flexibility in this new employment. Equally, on the Minister’s point about America, there is obviously a higher church attendance, but there is also much more freedom on this issue. We are a great capital city, and we would like to trade on Sunday.

Brandon Lewis: My hon. Friend makes a good point. I can appreciate that parts of London would want to come forward as a zone. For example, some of the evidence shows that, in the west end alone, that could be worth almost £400 million a year for the economy, with 2,500 jobs being created. However, it would be for areas to bid to be one of the pilot areas.

London is actually a really good example of how the market drives these things. Even on the days when shops can open for as long as they like, Members may

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find that, if they wander to the west end in the middle of the week, shops do not open particularly longer hours, so that, by the time we finish in this place, they are not open. Businesses can make that choice; what we want to do is make sure that they have that choice, that it is locally driven and that local residents have a choice as well.

Hannah Bardell (Livingston) (SNP): For the purposes of clarity, will the Minister tell us how the proposals, which we have not yet seen, will assess the impact on premium pay not just in Scotland but in the rest of the United Kingdom?

Brandon Lewis: I would say to the hon. Lady and to colleagues around the House that, as we put these proposals forward, it is important that we make sure that the key performance indicators that will come back to the House a year after the pilots—we will run the pilots for 12 months—cover a whole range of issues. She makes a fair point, and if it is one of the points she and her colleagues want looked at in the pilots, I am very happy to make sure it is. [Interruption.]

The hon. Member for Cardiff West (Kevin Brennan) asks from a sedentary position whether I am going to use up the entire time, and I would gently say to him that, no, I will not. I am about to conclude, but I would just point out to him that I have been spending much of my time taking interventions from his hon. Friends. I find his comments slightly surprising, bearing in mind that this is not an issue he felt needed voting on in Committee.

Mr Shuker: Will the Minister give way?

Brandon Lewis: No, I am not going to take an intervention. We need to allow other hon. Members to have their say.

We have listened to the principled opposition to our plans. I have listened to colleagues who have made strong, passionate and clear proposals to us, and we are amending them accordingly with our proposal for an exploratory evaluative phase, which we will lay amendments for in the other place—a draft is available for colleagues to look at now. I therefore call on all Members to support the Government’s amendment and to vote against amendment 1.

Bill Esterson (Sefton Central) (Lab): Welcome to our deliberations, Madam Deputy Speaker. I should refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

That really was the “Trust me, I’m Honest Brandon” speech: “We’ve got it wrong so far. We promise to do better next time, so I’m begging you to support me, despite making such a mess of things so far.” Honestly, have we ever heard anything quite so absurd?

The Minister asked why we did not vote against the measure in Committee, so I will read him what my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff West (Kevin Brennan) said then:

“I will cut short my comments and simply say that we are against these proposals—”

that sounds pretty clear to me—

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“but we will not vote against them at this stage because we want the opportunity to test the opinion of the whole House on Report.”––[Official Report, Enterprise Public Bill Committee, 25 February 2016; c. 328.]

Today that is exactly what we are doing.

4.15 pm

Let me turn to the Minister’s last-minute—indeed, after-the-last-minute—offer to invite local authorities to participate. Why on earth did he not do that in the first place? Let us be clear: there is no offer today for Government Members to vote for pilots, and no way of guaranteeing them. The Bill contains nothing about pilots. Do we take the Minister at his word, given what has gone before us previously on this subject?

Joan Ryan: Is my hon. Friend aware of any provision that allows Government Members to pre-empt a decision in the other place, or to offer this strange variant on a deferred Division on a proposal that nobody anywhere—other than those on the Government Front Benches, and possibly not all of them—actually wants?

Bill Esterson: My right hon. Friend makes a good point, and the Government have had ample opportunity in the Lords—[Interruption.] As my hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Yvonne Fovargue) reminds me, this provision was not even mentioned in the Lords. It was not in the original Bill, and it was not mentioned until Second Reading, when the Secretary of State announced for the first time that the Bill would cover Sunday trading. The Minister had plenty of time to table amendments then, in Committee, or today, but he chose not to. Why should we believe a word he says?

Mr Shuker: Let me underline the point made by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes). If we want enhanced provisions, surely the logical thing is to vote for amendment 1. There is nothing to prevent the Minister from bringing his provision forward in the House of Lords, regardless of the vote, other than the fact that we have not amended the Bill and it stands in the way he has presented it to us today.

Bill Esterson: I completely agree—

Brandon Lewis rose

Bill Esterson: Let me answer my hon. Friend. Perhaps the Minister will answer the similar point made by the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr Chope). Why does he not go back to the drawing board, start again with a new Bill, and bring it back to us once it has been properly considered? Both Houses should have ample opportunity to consider this issue properly, debate it fully, and get the right conclusions and legislation. He could start again.

Brandon Lewis: Let me help the hon. Gentleman and his colleagues. I outlined the measures in the way I did because, if amendment 1 is accepted, the Sunday trading clauses will not apply. We need to support the Government amendments in order to amend the Government amendments in the House of Lords. From a technical

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point of view, that is why we did it in that way. I want to ensure that we run these pilots for the benefit of local economies.

Bill Esterson: That is complete nonsense. The Minister had long enough when he was on his feet to demonstrate the nonsense of what he is saying. The only way to do this is to start from scratch, and enough hon. Members across the House have made that point. The Minister should listen, particularly to his own Members, who have made that point well.

Rachael Maskell (York Central) (Lab/Co-op): Are we moving towards talking about a hypothetical amendment with hypothetical evidence, when in fact this provision could create huge risk for neighbouring areas that will not be part of the pilot? In 12 months’ time, those businesses may no longer exist.

Bill Esterson: That is an excellent point, and I will expand on it later.

Mark Durkan: Do we not have a choice today between a clear amendment that we can understand, feel and touch, and, not just a flat-pack pilot scheme, but an artist’s impression of a flat-pack pilot scheme? It would be ludicrous for the House to buy that.

Bill Esterson: In both his interventions the hon. Gentleman has made the point as well as anybody, and I completely agree with what he said.

Several hon. Members rose

Bill Esterson: I really should make progress and I will take more interventions later.

I congratulate the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) and all who have signed his amendment. He gave an excellent speech with a measured and appropriate tone. I commend the Keep Sunday Special campaign for its hard work in making sure all the arguments were marshalled, given the Government’s failure to provide evidence in a timely fashion.

Sunday is the one day a week when workers in larger stores do not have the prospect of having to work long hours. It is the one day a week when those workers have the prospect of spending at least a part of the day with their families. For many people of faith it is more than that: it is the most important day of the week. For many people of faith and otherwise, Sunday is a day of rest. It is also the one day a week when smaller retailers have a slight competitive advantage and can stay open longer if they wish.

Nearly 3 million people, one in 10 of our workforce, work in the retail sector. This matters a great deal. There will be profound changes to the lives of many people, both at work and outside, if the changes go through.

Mrs Anne Main (St Albans) (Con): I would like to ask the hon. Gentleman the same question I asked my hon. Friend the Minister. What discussions has he had on what is effectively the pilot operating in Scotland, which we can look at to see how beneficial, leaving aside what is being paid to the workers, liberalisation has been to the Scottish economy? Has he looked at that?

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Bill Esterson: I am sure SNP Members will answer the hon. Lady’s question. The reality is that we have a great British compromise that allows different situations in different parts of the United Kingdom.

Before the election, as we have been reminded a number of times, the Prime Minister’s office confirmed that the Prime Minister had no plans to change Sunday trading. The Conservative party manifesto did not state that it would change Sunday trading. Many Conservative candidates—a number of them have told me this—wrote in good faith to constituents to confirm that the Government would not be implementing such changes.

In Committee, the Minister justified the changes by saying the current rules date from a time before the internet—1994, to be precise. In a Populus survey from January this year, however, not a single respondent said that restrictions on Sunday trading were a reason for them shopping online—not a single person out of 2,008 people in a representative sample. Yet online trading is given as a key reason for needing to extend Sunday trading. For good measure, not a single industry or media analyst suggested that the recent poor Christmas trading results were caused by a lack of opportunity for shoppers on Sundays. Unbelievable!

The Minister told us in Committee that the reason for the change of mind was that when the Prime Minister’s office wrote the letter it was as the Prime Minister of a coalition Government, but that now he is the Prime Minister of a Conservative majority Government everything has changed. Presumably, he intended to become the Prime Minister of a majority Government when his office wrote the letter and when it wrote the manifesto, and I rather doubt that that cuts much ice with Conservative Back Benchers who support the Keep Sunday Special campaign.

The Minister also told us that the proposed changes were about devolution and decisions being taken by local people. However, as council chief executives have clearly said, in most areas, the changes would be applied to out-of-town shopping centres, to the detriment of high streets. Those same chief executives have also pointed out that, if one council introduces changes to Sunday trading, their neighbours will have little or no choice other than to follow suit, or run the risk that trade would migrate to businesses in the neighbouring authority. This is not the localism the Government claim. It is passing on the blame for an unpopular measure that only one in eight people support, according to a Populus poll last September. We were told that the changes would help the high street.

John Stevenson: Does the hon. Gentleman not think it is right that the people of Carlisle should decide whether shops are open on a Sunday, so that they can compete on an equal footing with Scotland, which is only nine miles away?

Bill Esterson: If the hon. Gentleman wants to organise an Adjournment debate about the people of Carlisle, I am sure the Minister will answer him. The reality is, however, that if one—[Hon. Members: “Answer!”] If hon. Members will let me answer the question, I will. If one council changes its rules, then neighbouring authorities will feel under pressure to do exactly the same thing. They will have no choice. If a Tesco opens on a Sunday

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until 10 o’clock at night, then the Tesco, Asda or Morrisons in the borough next door will have to open until that time, too.

Kevin Hollinrake: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Bill Esterson: I am going to make some progress, because unfortunately the Minister took up so much time.

Sammy Wilson: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the hon. Member for Carlisle (John Stevenson) has just made his point for him? If the people of Carlisle were to decide what happened in their area so that they could compete with Scotland, the next-door council would make exactly the same argument. The shadow Minister is exactly right: that would have the effect of ensuring that this was not localism, but a national decision.

Bill Esterson: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. The hon. Member for Kensington (Victoria Borwick) asked the Minister about zoning and whether London could be a single zone, but why stop at London? Why not designate England as a single zone, given that that is exactly what would happen because of the domino effect of the proposal?

Barbara Keeley: My hon. Friend is making a very good speech. The Trafford centre is a large shopping centre situated next to my constituency. It attracts an enormous amount of traffic, so if it extends its hours my constituency will never get a moment’s peace. Moreover, building work on the Government’s motorway project can take place only when the Trafford centre is not busy. [Interruption.] It is not my council. If the Trafford centre opens 24/7, the logistics will make things impossible for my constituents.

Bill Esterson: There are similar examples up and down the country. My hon. Friend is absolutely right.

Let me turn to some of the evidence we have been given in the lead-up to this debate. During the Olympics, convenience stores experienced a fall in Sunday trade of up to 7%. There was also a displacement of trade to different times of the week, but, instead of an increase in overall trade, there was a slight fall. The Government assumption that people will have more money to spend just because the shops are open longer does not bear scrutiny once we start to look at the evidence.

Meanwhile, the extra Sunday hours would increase costs in those large stores that stay open longer, and while there will be some displacement from convenience stores to larger retailers, as happened during the Olympics, there will be little or no overall increase in trade to pay for the increased cost in most shops.

Chris Philp: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Bill Esterson: I am going to make some more progress before I take any more interventions.

The larger retailers that open longer will have to find a way to reduce costs, which means removing the premium for shop workers. Given that the major retailers operate UK-wide, a change in pay and conditions in England and Wales will mean changes in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well. Premium pay on Sundays is viable across the UK because large retailers in most of the UK are restricted to six hours’ opening. The time and a half

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paid to many shop workers will be under threat to make up for staying open longer across the UK, which, of course, is why this is a UK-wide matter and why it is entirely appropriate that Members from across the UK have a vote on this very important proposal.

Removing time and a half would cost shop staff who work an average shift in Scotland £1,400 a year, which in anybody’s money is a very significant hit, particularly for those on low pay in the retail sector. The proposed changes in England in Wales would have a profound effect on workers in Scotland, and I am glad that the SNP recognises that Scottish workers will be hit. I was a bit surprised when the hon. Member for Livingston (Hannah Bardell) told us in Committee that, while her concerns focused on Scottish workers, the SNP welcomed the additional employee protections in the Bill, which she ascribed to

“the strong and principled action of the SNP”.––[Official Report, Enterprise Public Bill Committee, 25 February 2016; c. 322.]

We will come to how those protections will not do what the Government claim they will, but I am glad that the letter from my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of Scottish Labour, Kezia Dugdale, has had the desired effect. I welcome the SNP’s confirmation that its Members will vote against the Government, and I look forward to them joining us in the Lobby.

Hannah Bardell: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Bill Esterson: I don’t have a choice, do I?

Hannah Bardell: On a point of clarity, the hon. Gentleman can read the record for himself, as can members of the public and Members of this House, but we have been very clear. We engaged with all sides of the argument up until the point where we took a decision at our group meeting as part of a democratic process.

Bill Esterson: I am grateful to the hon. Lady for that intervention. All I will say is that I am glad that she and her colleagues came to the right decision in the end; it does not matter how they got there.

4.30 pm

Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (SNP): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Bill Esterson: I am not going to take any more interventions at the moment. We have not got very long, because the Minister took so much time, and a lot of Members want to speak.

The Minister claimed that the Bill would help workers, but 91% of shop staff oppose longer Sunday opening hours and only 6% want more hours on Sundays. Listening to the Minister in Committee, we might have been forgiven for thinking that the figures were the other way around. The Minister says that he is improving workers’ ability to opt out of Sunday working. Let us just go through some of what happens now. Staff who apply for jobs with some retailers are asked whether they will work Sundays. Failure to say yes can mean no interview. Staff who are still in their notice period who try to opt out of Sunday working can and do lose their jobs. Staff who try to opt out of Sunday working can and do lose

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hours. Staff who want to opt out come under pressure from managers and colleagues not to do so. The reality is that staff already have to work on Sundays in too many large retailers when they do not want to, when they would rather spend more time with their children or—as most people want to do on Sundays—enjoy leisure time or rest. What happened to the family test?

Chris Philp: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Bill Esterson: No, I am not going to give way.

The Prime Minister said that the family test should apply to all legislation. I understand that it is in the impact assessment. I have not had time to read it in detail, because we had only two hours’ notice of its publication, but I understand that it says that when it comes to the family test, the overall impact is unclear. It is clear enough to families of shop workers up and down the country that the measure will have a profound effect on them and on what happens on Sundays.

Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland) (Lab): Will my hon. Friend give way?

Bill Esterson: I am not going to give way at this stage.

Because of the cost of going to an employment tribunal, it is beyond the means of most workers to challenge their employer, especially if they have just been fired. The changes to employee rights will not change the realities faced by shop workers, and they will not change the difficulty of getting access to justice at an employment tribunal. Shop workers will, all too often, have no choice, just as they often have no choice at present. They will have to work longer hours, in many cases, whether they want to or not.

What of the evidence for the reforms? We have heard the farcical answers about the consultation, and how the Department cannot publish the details because people chose to write their answers in their own words. What absolute nonsense. There are so many things to choose from in this farce, but that really sticks out. The Government have claimed that a majority of large businesses are in favour of the changes. That is one bit of the consultation that they have bothered to publish. However, retailers, including Sainsbury, Tesco, John Lewis, Dixons and Marks & Spencer, expressed their opposition to the Prime Minister at a meeting last week and pointed out that their customers do not want to be able to shop for longer on Sundays.

Until noon today, we awaited the publication of the impact assessment, on which, presumably, the Sunday trading clauses are based. We were told in Committee that it would be published soon. It has been published, as of two hours ago, so Members have had less than three hours to consider the Government’s impact assessment on a piece of legislation. Seriously, what a way to do business. It really is an outrage.

The measure represents a broken election promise. It will have a domino effect among local authorities. High streets will be harmed, not helped. Smaller retailers will lose business. Staff will be unable to refuse to work longer hours. There will be cuts to premium pay in Scotland, as well as in the rest of the UK. That is all backed up by the lack of any published evidence to support the measure until the last minute, and I am not convinced that it does back it up. Remember that the

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Bill started life in the Lords, and Sunday trading was introduced in the Commons only at the very last minute. The measure has not had any scrutiny in the Lords. This is a significant change for businesses, shop workers, faith groups, families and all who want to keep Sunday special. The Government have not made the case for their proposal, and the suggested possible amendment, which may be introduced at some time in the future, will not do so either.

We know that the Government want to make this change, although many large retailers do not. If they really insist that this is right and that there are serious reasons to introduce something so far reaching that was not in the manifesto, they should do so with full scrutiny and with evidence. They should give Members of both Houses the opportunity to make sure that any changes made are done with great care, given the far-reaching consequences of what is proposed. That does not mean tabling a last-minute manuscript amendment in a desperate bid for a last-minute deal.

As far as what is proposed on the amendment paper today and the way in which it has been proposed is concerned, Labour Members will stick to the consistent line we have had all along. Let us keep our great British compromise on Sunday trading and support the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate.

Several hon. Members rose

Madam Deputy Speaker (Natascha Engel): Order. Hon. Members can see how many people want to speak and only a little over an hour is left before the end of the debate. If they could keep their speeches very brief, the whole House will be grateful.

Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire) (Con): I rise to speak because if I said this in an intervention, I would test the patience of the House by speaking for too long.

When I first arrived in the House, I was told by a veteran that in the House were good men, clever men and those with good grace. I want to pay tribute to the Minister, who has somehow managed to climb the greasy pole while embodying all three qualities. As Members on both sides of the House know, he is an incredibly hard working Minister for Housing and Planning. When were in opposition, I was always quick to praise Labour Ministers, including those who once held a similar position. I will forgive him for the fact that he is sending notes to love bomb the waverers.

I also pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes). It would have been a shock, from what I know of his 11 years in the House, if he had not led on this amendment today. He is a man of huge principle. Those of us who have been in the House during those 11 years and have heard him speak with huge conviction on such issues will understand why he has led on this amendment and why so many of us support him.

This whole issue is rooted in devolution, the natural direction of which is towards localism. Therefore, at the risk of sounding like the Leader of the Opposition, I want to speak on behalf of my constituents. Mr Kishor Patel was shortlisted for retailer of the year last year. He came to the House of Commons and was the runner-up. He runs Nisa in Toddington in my constituency, where he has opened a number of stores. He is an amazing

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small retailer. He recently took a derelict pub in my constituency and turned it into a restaurant. He says that he does not want me to support the proposal in the Bill; he wants me to vote against it. His pub is at its busiest, with families enjoying themselves, on Sundays. He is incredibly worried that, if the proposal goes forward and bigger stores can open for longer on Sundays, pubs like his will not stay open for longer, but will fail. It is the business he does on Sundays, when families can enjoy themselves at the local pub, that makes the difference between its being profitable and not profitable.

Mr Patel also does not want me not to support the proposal in the Bill because of the impact on his small high street shops, which are valued by local communities. In my constituency, it is not particularly easy to get out to the big stores, so people depend on small high street stores. However, the situation would be quite different if the big stores were open all day, because people would make the effort to go out to the bigger stores or to travel into London, and that would have a huge impact on local shops in Mid Bedfordshire.

I want to declare an interest in that my family owned a local shop. The hon. Member for Worsley and Eccles South (Barbara Keeley) mentioned the Trafford centre. When that opened and got busy, the family local shop stopped opening on a Sunday and began to suffer as a result. It is a known fact that small high street shops must constantly go the extra mile to compete with the big stores. They do not have the resources to man their stores seven days a week—and seven nights a week, because the paperwork, the ordering, the PAYE and so on is done while the shop is closed, not when it is open.

This proposal was not in our manifesto. The Bill began in the Lords, not in this House, and the policy has never received sufficient public discussion. If we want to do this, let us put a measure in the Queen’s Speech and let the public know about it properly, and let us have a full consultation and a public debate.

Hannah Bardell: I am pleased that we have the opportunity to debate the extension of Sunday trading hours. Since the original proposals were withdrawn by the Government, my colleagues and I have been engaging widely with people and organisations on both sides of the debate. Contrary to media speculation and the misinformation peddled by Government Front Benchers, the SNP has, as we said we would, reached our conclusions on the basis of the evidence that has been presented to us.

There are a variety of views across this House and across the country. I intend to outline my concerns about the effect of the UK Government’s proposals on workers’ rights and benefits in Scotland and the UK. However, I should say at the outset that my SNP colleagues and I have no objection to the principle of extending trading hours on Sundays. After all, in Scotland, as has been said many times, we already enjoy unrestricted trading hours on Sundays. It is important to note that in the past, restraints on Sunday opening in Scotland have existed, but they have largely been social rather than legal. There are, of course, areas of Scotland where there is greater religious observance and Sunday opening hours are more restricted but, in general, the practice of longer opening hours on Sundays, particularly in retail, is now well established throughout Scotland, and some evidence suggests that that has been the case since the late 1980s.

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The UK Government’s proposals represent the uniform deregulation of trading hours restrictions across these islands. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but without adequate legal protections, which we and others have called for, the employment protections of workers and their remuneration would be threatened.

The Government’s impact assessment, which was published only this morning, identifies more than 450,000 retail workers across the UK who receive premium pay, but in the 44-page assessment, the Government dedicate just one paragraph to that and dismiss out of hand the concerns of workers and of USDAW. Even now, faced with defeat, the UK Government refuse to offer assurances about premium pay. They engage in ping-pong politics, looking for ways to get the numbers through the Lobby.

Alan Brown: My hon. Friend rightly underlines the point that we have always made about the long-term erosion of premium pay. A sham of a pilot has been offered, but does my hon. Friend agree that that cannot address the long-term erosion of premium pay? Nobody participating in a pilot is going to take away premium pay—they will have to wait until the pilot is finished.

Hannah Bardell: I entirely agree.

My SNP colleagues and I made it clear in November last year that we would oppose the UK Government’s proposals, and we oppose them now. We challenged the UK Government to think again about how they could provide the necessary guarantees and safeguards to shop workers in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. I was pleased that the Government tabled a new schedule in Committee—it now forms part of the Bill, although it is threatened with removal—that sought to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 to give more explicit protection to shop workers opting out of Sunday work, including protections against such workers being discriminated. Our Labour colleagues have referred to the legal opinion that they obtained.

SNP Members welcome the extra protections for workers. They show that the UK Government can, when they want to, listen and, on occasion, act to do the right thing. The SNP commissioned its own legal opinion from a leading Scottish silk to examine the protections in detail. We are satisfied that they represent a significant increase in employment protection across the UK, and those protections would not have materialised without the SNP’s opposition.

4.45 pm

There remains, however, the issue of the implications of an effective UK-wide deregulation for the provision of premium pay in Scotland. The shop workers trade union, USDAW—I pay tribute to it and to its general secretary, John Hannett—has done a huge amount of work on this issue and has engaged extensively with parties across the Chamber and, indeed, across society. It has warned that the implication of the legislation, without safeguards, is that premium pay for Scottish workers, and indeed workers across the UK, will be threatened by erosion. The Scotland-based consultancy BiGGAR Economics has estimated that the loss of premium pay would affect some 60,000 workers in Scotland, with an estimated loss of income of up to £74 million a year.

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Chris Philp: Will the hon. Lady confirm that if these proposals are passed, they will increase protections for workers in Scotland? Will she also confirm that the arrangements in Scotland and England would be identical, meaning that she will be voting against arrangements that already apply in Scotland?

Hannah Bardell: As I have just said, employment protections will increase, but no Minister has said anything about pay protection, which I shall speak about later.

Low-paid workers might lose out even further if they lose their premium pay. USDAW has expressed significant concern that when universal credit is rolled out in May 2016, any loss of Sunday premium pay by families working in retail would trigger the end of their transitional protection at tax credit rates and they would be transferred to the far lower rate of universal credit. That is an extremely important point.

It is an interesting phenomenon that a greater proportion of lone parents work in retail on Sundays than on any other day of the week, yet if one of those lone parents was to lose their premium pay and to be transferred to the lower rate of universal credit, they would have over £2,000 less in their pocket. I and my SNP colleagues are not prepared to gamble with the pay packets of some of Scotland and the UK’s lowest paid workers.

Moreover, it is an obvious point, but the erosion of premium pay as a result of Sunday trading hours is a real threat not just to Scottish workers, but to shop workers across the UK. We said ahead of the 2015 general election that the SNP would be a progressive force in Westminster and that we would work with others to pursue progressive policies and protect the most vulnerable—and not just in Scotland, but across the UK. In voting against these ill-conceived measures, that is exactly what we are doing. We in the SNP do not just write our manifesto commitments down; we actually deliver on them.

Although the crux of our argument is about the erosion of premium pay, there is a wider debate going on. We should focus our minds on the wider issue of fair pay. In my maiden speech, I spoke about the importance of decent pay for decent work, and about my own family heritage, being from mining and shop worker roots. My grandfather was a miner and believed firmly that no worker should have to seek overtime to make ends meet. Therefore, while we must protect the premium pay of the lowest paid, we should also be continuing the fight for fair pay for the lowest paid in our society. That means a real living wage, not the fake one dreamt up by this UK Government.

We have challenged the UK Government to give assurances and to provide safeguards for the provision of premium pay in Scotland, and they have failed to do so. There is not a single clause in the Bill, or any sentence that any UK Government Minister has uttered in our proceedings on it, that is significant enough a reassurance that Scottish shop workers, and indeed shop workers across the UK, will not lose out because of a lack of protection for their traditional rates of pay. We will oppose anything that puts in doubt the premium payments that lower-paid shop workers in Scotland have for Sunday working.

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John Stevenson: The hon. Lady is banging on about fairness. Is it fair for a business in Scotland potentially to have a competitive advantage over a business that is 9 miles away?

Hannah Bardell: The hon. Gentleman is missing the point. What is not fair is for the UK Government to bring in provisions that will have a knock-on impact on Scottish workers and reduce wages. It is on that basis that we oppose them. The UK Government have had time to bring forward the necessary safeguards and guarantees that there will be no detriment to shop workers in Scotland or the rest of the UK, but they have failed to do so.

There is a fundamental point about process and respect for Parliament, its Members and the constituents we represent. We owe it to our constituents to do our business in a manner that is fair, open and transparent. The Secretary of State and the Minister should listen to that. The way in which the provisions have been shoehorned into successive Bills as a last-ditch slapdash amendment is appalling. The Government should do their business better if they want to command the support of the House or the UK public.

The UK Government have left it to the last possible moment to publish the impact assessment and the family test, and they would not devolve employment law to Scotland. For that reason, and for the good of shop workers across Scotland and the UK, and the 450,000 of them who receive premium pay, my SNP colleagues and I will support the amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) to remove the Government’s proposals from the Bill.

Mrs Caroline Spelman (Meriden) (Con): I rise to speak in support of amendment 19, which I suggest is a workable compromise. As Second Church Estates Commissioner, I met Treasury Ministers to try to understand the reasons why the Government wanted to change the original compromise of the Sunday Trading Act 1994. I was told that there were two principal reasons: first, to address the demise of the high street; and secondly, the need to remain competitive with neighbouring countries, notably France.

Online shopping was cited as the principal cause of the recent demise of the high street, but longer-term competition from out of town shopping centres has also caused that demise. I doubt very much that keeping shops open longer on Sundays will stop people shopping online. Anyone who has been shopping with their teenage or young adult children will know that they go to the shops to look, and say, “Mum, we won’t buy it here because there’s an online discount.” Rather like Canute, we will find it very difficult to turn back the tide.

Robert Jenrick: Will my right hon. Friend answer the point that I tried to make in a previous intervention? Behind every online transaction, there are tens of thousands of British workers, including in Newark’s Knowhow warehouse. Those people have rights, too. She is standing up for one type of worker and ignoring the fact that tens of thousands, if not more, are working elsewhere behind the scenes.

Mrs Spelman: My hon. Friend makes a perfectly valid but separate point. I am addressing the question of whether keeping shops open longer will stop people

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shopping online; he wants people to have jobs servicing the online industry. As has been pointed out, a number of high street stores are successful in maintaining their high street position and at the same time giving an online offer.

I am prepared to concede that we need to remain competitive as a country, so I asked the British embassy in Paris to give me details of the recent change in French Sunday trading laws. Essentially, my amendment, which I have tabled with the help of the Clerks, seeks to mirror as closely as possible how the French Government have approached the very same question by designating localised tourist zones.

The Macron law—it is named after the Minister who introduced it—extended the number of Sundays for trading in France from five a year to 12 a year. Essentially, it is one Sunday a month. By happy coincidence, it created 12 zones. Six are in Paris, and it might be a welcome distraction to Members to run through where they are: Boulevard Haussmann, Champs-Élysées, Saint-Germain and Montmartre. That gives colleagues a sense of the size of the zones that the French Government identified. There are zones in six other regional cities, including Cannes, Deauville and Nice.

That allowed local government to designate smaller tourist zones, where shops under special licence could open for longer. The right hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr Lammy) indirectly asked how the French Government designated tourist zones. The answer to his question is that they collected data on the profile of shoppers who used those zones. Their definition was that the zone should show exceptional attendance by tourists residing abroad. Crucially, those tourist zones do not have wider application, which reduces the negative effects on smaller shops and convenience stores, which we have discussed.

The Olympic park experience is important because, in essence, it is the only practical pilot we have to go on when discussing the likely impact of extended opening. When the practical experience of 2012 was analysed by Oxford Economics, it was ascertained, as Members have pointed out, that small and medium-sized enterprises in up to a two-mile radius from large supermarkets in the area lost over 3% of their weekly sales income. If that is extrapolated to the national scale, it is estimated there would be an annual loss of £870 million in sales for all types of convenience stores and a net loss of 3,270 retail jobs in England and Wales, were longer Sunday trading hours to be made permanent, as happened in the experiment during the Olympics.

I have been contacted by local Nisa and SPAR convenience store providers concerned about the implications of these changes on smaller stores. I also share the deeper concerns expressed by my hon. Friends, including my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes), the Keep Sunday Special campaign and the Church of England, about the erosion of a general day of leisure on which people can be available for shared activities with friends and family, especially those who build up community spirit and strengthen families.

I have talked to shop workers in large stores who often get their free time in half days on days other than Sunday, when family and friends might not be available. Until today, we have not had a detailed impact assessment,

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so I tend to agree with the Bishop of St Albans, the lead spokesman in the Church of England on Sunday trading. He said:

“an increase in opening hours will only lead to more people being pressured into spending Sunday apart from their children and families.”

Kevin Foster (Torbay) (Con): As my right hon. Friend will be aware, I represent a constituency with a large tourism industry. How would her suggestion work, given that in Paignton, for example, parts of the town centre are used by locals, yet the out-of-town supermarket is used by people going to the holiday camps? How would this result in a tourist zone?

Mrs Spelman: This is essentially a devolved proposal. It would be for local authorities to express an interest in being a designated tourist zone. My amendment limits temporally and geographically the potentially deleterious impact on SMEs. It has the capacity to deal with extended opening hours during the British holiday season, as well as during the Christmas season, when many places—Blackpool, for example—experience an increase in tourist trade.

Research has shown that the majority of shop workers do not welcome the opportunity to work longer hours on a Sunday. I commend Ministers for including improved legal protections in the current provisions, but the practical reality in the workplace is that if someone is worried about losing their job, they will not want to ask for a special concession not to have to work on a Sunday. Similarly, if someone wants a promotion, they will not want to ask for that concession, because their competitors in the promotion stakes might not ask for a comparable one.

I welcome the Government amendment, which did make it on to the Amendment Paper, to give local authorities the power to restrict Sunday trading to zones, but I am concerned that the zoning is potentially too broad in its impact. For example, it would not be strong enough to avoid a combined local authority-wide mega zone occurring, which, in my view, would have an excessively negative impact. A trial would also make it difficult to discern the selected impacts on different businesses within such a wide zone.

It is obviously not the Minister’s fault that the manuscript amendment was not selected. He indicated that it gave us a feeling for what he would like to do—it was a valiant effort—but the difficulty for parliamentarians is that it is not actually on the Amendment Paper. As somebody said, we need an amendment that we can feel and touch. I believe that a compromise that benefits families and UK competition lies in the tourist-zone model. I strongly encourage Members to support this compromise.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: Order. We have just under 50 minutes and many people wish to contribute. If everyone speaks for four minutes, we could have another 10 or so contributors. I ask Members to consider each other.

Mr Lammy: I was very pleased to add my name to the amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes). I did so because although I recognise that none of us wants excessive regulation for

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our communities and that people should have the freedom to shop at convenient times for them, I think that the settlement reached by this House in 1994 was the right one, and I do not see the demand across this country to change that arrangement.

My primary concerns are twofold. First, there is the protection of family life. Some 75% of parents in this country feel that work impinges on their family life. Many of us have been abroad—in Spain, Portugal or France, for example—and we found real restrictions when it came to finding things open on a Sunday. We have been out at lunch time and found that the shops are on siesta. Why is it that in this country, this Government think we should put the free market above everything else? It is conservative to protect the family, and the family is worth protecting.

5 pm

We debate issues such as knife crime here, and lament the fact that families do not have time to sit around the table with their children; we want to see parents supporting their kids to learn to read and to help them with their homework, but when do we think those activities are being done? They are done on a Sunday.

Secondly, what is the face of the people we will be asking to go out and shop? We should think of the security guards now being made to work on a Sunday. We should think of the cleaners and of those stacking the shelves. They are the faces of my constituents. The balance we have in this country is right. To change it through the back door to allow a domino effect—one local authority has to make changes because the neighbouring local authority made them—is wrong. Let me add that to undermine independent shopkeepers who are universally against this change is also wrong. We should support them.

Family is reason enough. We have debated the family here on numerous occasions, and the Prime Minister himself has said that he wants to run a family-centred Government. For this reason alone, we should oppose the change and support the amendment.

Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) (Con): I rise more in sorrow than in anger. I have made my views known to the Minister. I am disappointed that I shall have to support not the Government but the amendment proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes). I shall not support the amendment proposed by my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) because I think what can be classified as a tourist area is a moot point. People might come to Warwickshire near her own constituency and visit Stratford, yet she has Chelmsley Wood in her constituency, which some might describe as a brutalist horror, yet it could be reclassified as a tourist attraction. It will be difficult for lawyers to prove what is a tourist area and what is not. This makes it difficult for the amendment to stand.

This is not an economic issue or even a faith issue, although I pay tribute to the very good speech by the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Jonathan Reynolds). It is about what kind of country we want to be. It is a conscience issue. My understanding was that the Sunday Trading Act 1994 was subject to a free vote on what was regarded as an issue of conscience. Why can we not do the same now?

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I find it pretty shocking that a manuscript amendment appears on the Twitter feed of Sky News at 2.4 pm before Members have had an opportunity to look at it. I have to tell the Minister that five or six weeks ago, I said to no less important a figure than the Prime Minister that what we needed was a competitive regime in which local authorities could come forward and offer to be pilots, yet that was dismissed. Indeed, Ministers were not talking to Back Benchers about this issue until 48 hours ago—in fact, even less than that. [Interruption.] I mean on the specific issue that we have put forward.

I am not an uber-liberal and I am not a social liberal. I think we have a social contract and a bond with our constituents. We should regulate some behaviours. That is why, for instance, we voted to ban smoking in vehicles with children in them. “Devil take the hindmost” is not the right way in which to pursue this issue, especially given that in 2014 the Prime Minister, no less, said on the BBC news that families should be the prism through which we should decide policy. Indeed, as my hon. Friend pointed out in April 2015, during the general election campaign, the Prime Minister wrote to the Keep Sunday Special campaign saying the same thing.

It is not acceptable that there has been no proper scrutiny and oversight in the House of Lords. It is not acceptable that the Whips packed the Public Bill Committee with people who were likely to be sympathetic. It is not acceptable for the Government to use the relevant section of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to stifle debate by hiding the number of consultations that have taken place—and we saw the ridiculous answer that my hon. Friend was given by Ministers.

Why has there been no family assessment? Why has there been no impact assessment? Those are important questions that the Government have not yet answered. The issue is important to me because 32% of the economic activity in my constituency takes place in the retail sector, and there will be a domino effect. Decisions will be taken naturally. If Peterborough were to deregulate and adopt a different retail regime, Fenland would want the same, and so would Huntingdonshire, Corby and other local authorities. I think it foolish and naive to assume that will not happen.

What am I asking Members to vote on today? I am asking them to give the Government some breathing space. We know that this proposal has been driven not by the superb ministerial teams in the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills—I do not always agree with them, but they are very good at their jobs—but by the dead hand of the Treasury. The Treasury has been taking the media flak for this, and the Treasury is putting out the lines to be taken. An obscure Back-Bench Tory MP who votes the right way today is likely to get a brand-new bypass, or perhaps become a special representative to some warm and exotic place of which he or she has never heard.

The fact is that this is an issue of principle, integrity and conscience. I defer to no one in my admiration for the Government’s work in important areas such as the reform of education and welfare, but they are now engaging in a needless and egregious conflict with their own Back Benchers. They do not need to do that. There is no authority for this proposal, because, as we know, it was not in the Conservative manifesto. I have already

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said that the legal case is threadbare, and I have cited the legal opinion of John Bowers, QC.

I am very fond of the Minister, but only a week or so ago he said that the Government were proceeding on the basis of what was in the Bill after the Committee stage. Today, he waxed lyrical at the Dispatch Box about the fantastic idea of launching pilot projects to open up retail across the country. That does not stack up; it is close, but no cigar. If it was such a good idea, why was it not taken up by senior Ministers weeks ago, when I raised it personally with the Prime Minister? I think that that is a fair question.

If Members on both sides of the House vote against the Government and in favour of my hon. Friend’s amendment, all they will do is allow the Government to consult properly, present coherent arguments, and propose measures that will protect workers’ rights and the special interests of the Association of Convenience Stores—which has raised concerns—while also taking proper note of what is said by the trade unions. They are not always the friends of our party, but they have a right to be heard, and 91% of members of USDAW have opposed the Government’s proposals.

My hon. Friend the Member for Mid Bedfordshire (Nadine Dorries) suggested that new legislation could be proposed in the Queen’s Speech. I can even offer a name: the Sunday Trading (Pilot Projects) Bill. I will invoice the Minister later for that suggestion. We could then have a proper debate, because we would know what we were voting for. I must say to the Minister that this has not been done properly. There has not been proper scrutiny and oversight. There has not been proper debate and discussion. Running around with manuscript amendments at four minutes past two on the day of a Report stage is not good government.

I want to support the Government, and I want them to succeed, but I am afraid that on this occasion, with a very heavy heart, I cannot support them, and I will be voting for the amendment. I will be doing that so that the Government can come back, carry the House in a consensus, protect jobs, protect a way of life, protect family life, and look after the interests of our constituents, because, if for no other reason, that is why we are here.

Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) (Lab): I am very pleased to be able to speak in support of the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes), and to be part of the unholy alliance that is doing so. Trust me, it is better to be part of an unholy alliance than to be called a Maoist. The reason that most of us are supporting the amendment is that we are united on several key principles. We stand in support of family life, we oppose the exploitation of shop workers, and we believe in real competition and genuine devolution, which gives fair play to our small shops and supports diversity on the high street. There is unity too because in this country we believe that it is right to keep Sunday special.

Of course society has changed, and the law has changed with it. Some people will point to the recent opinion poll which showed that there is now a bare majority who want to change the law on this matter even further. It is not that we on this side of the House are bitter about opinion polls, but actually, they do not always get everything right. But even if that particular YouGov poll is correct on that matter, let us look at

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some of its other findings, which show that 58% of the population fear that the Government’s proposals will affect small stores and 48% agree that longer opening hours would be detrimental to family life. Only 27% said that that would not be the case.

The family test has been discussed today, as has the little impact assessment that popped up this morning. Wherever we stand on individual policies, I do not think that any of us would seriously fault the Government’s idea that every domestic policy should be measured against its impact on family life. I really hope that that issue above all else will be taken into consideration. We have a Prime minister who speaks the language of prison reform, who deals with issues such as the stigma surrounding mental health and who, once upon a time, hugged huskies and even Eurosceptics. He himself said that he did not want to change the Sunday trading laws, so does he really want this piece of anti-family legislation to be passed on his watch?

I shall close with the words of one mother, a shop worker, who says:

“As a mother, I would not work Sunday evenings or late afternoons, yet it would be forced on us as we would need more than one manager on a Sunday to cover the hours.”

She is right, and we know that she is not just speaking for herself. She is speaking for hundreds of thousands of people across our country. That is why I believe with the deepest conviction that, whatever our party or background, we need to speak up for those people today.

Sir Edward Leigh: When you do not put something in your manifesto—indeed, when you are the leader of a political party and you give a particular pledge—that is a very serious state of affairs. The reason that there is so much disgust with politics all over the world—we are seeing what is happening in America—is that we are no longer trusted. What has changed since the general election? If there were an overwhelming economic case for this proposal, I would understand it, but what has moved on in nine or 10 months?

When I voted, back in 1994, I think it was a free vote. There was no pressure from No. 10 or No. 11, and people were not being shuffled off for chats with Ministers behind the Speaker’s Chair. We were pretty well allowed to vote as we liked, and I voted against. We were told that that was a compromise, and it is a compromise. Are we receiving masses of emails and letters on this proposal? Are there all sorts of pressure from our people arguing that we should change the law? I have not detected any such pressure. So why are the Government running around viewing this as some kind of macho measure? It is not. As my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr Jackson) has just said, it is a conscience issue. I put that point to the Minister, and it is an important one for all of us. I ask all my hon. Friends to think about this, and not just about their careers, before they vote tonight.

We as MPs value our Sundays. I have often heard MPs saying, “I’m sorry, but the only thing I will do on a Sunday is attend a Remembrance Sunday event. Otherwise, I want to be with my family.” We must understand that we have great jobs here, with all the privileges that go with them, and we have a duty to look after people who are much less well off than ourselves and who work

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unbelievably hard, often in fairly grim jobs. Do we want to force them to work even longer hours? All the pressure from big businesses will ultimately be on them, so do we want them to sit behind a till on a Sunday or do we say to them, “We believe that Sunday is special”? Sunday is special, and what is good for us is good for others.

Michelle Donelan: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Sir Edward Leigh: No, because I want to finish as soon as possible to obey the Speaker.

5.15 pm

The change will put enormous pressure on local authorities and that pressure will be one way. In my local authority area, we have a Tesco, a Morrisons and all the rest of it. If a big store opens up in Lincoln, Tesco will go to West Lindsey District Council and say, “Unless you agree to deregulate and allow us to open all hours on a Sunday, we will close the Tesco in Gainsborough and put 400 people out of work.” This will be the thin edge of the wedge. Wonderful Asian people in all our communities are struggling to keep small shops going, and this will be another nail in their coffin. The Conservative party is not only the party of big business and prosperity, but that of small people, struggling entrepreneurs and the family. That is what this is about.

Sunday is not only an issue for Christians. The former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks wrote in Prospect:

“Britain used to have its own Sabbath every Sunday. Then it was deregulated and privatised. Holy days became holidays, sacred time became free time and rest became leisure. The assumption was that everyone would benefit because we could all decide for ourselves how to spend the day. This was and remains a fallacy.”

He went on to mention Émile Durkheim’s work on the dangers of individualism and societal breakdown. The Conservative party is not just about individualism; it is about society as a whole. We know the dangers and costs of societal breakdown, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, who is sitting behind you, Mr Speaker, has done work on this issue with the DWP’s social justice team. To return to Lord Sacks, he wrote in 2009:

“British culture once had an inner poise and balance…Twenty years of a seven-day-a-week consumer culture has not made Britons measurably happier.”

Our society is becoming more atomised and divided. I say to my hon. Friends that there is a sound, traditional, Conservative case for putting the family first and voting for the amendment.

Jim Shannon: It is a pleasure to speak on this matter and to be one of the 70 signatories to the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes). I want to be clear that my party supports the amendment and we will be in the Aye Lobby with the other signatories to ensure that we win the vote tonight. I am quite convinced that we will.

Before becoming a Member in this place, I served as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and, as such, have some knowledge of how devolution works. I have been fascinated to see how the Government have energetically sought to make the case for changing Sunday trading rules using the language of devolution.

Clive Efford: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

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Jim Shannon: I apologise, but I cannot. The Speaker has been very clear.

The Minister has regularly said that the Government’s position is to trust local communities to make the decisions that are best for them. For anyone who really believes in devolution, however, there is a fundamental problem with that argument. If the Government believed in real devolution, if they really trusted communities to make the right decision, that is what they would have proposed, but that is not what they have offered today. They have proposed to trust communities to make decisions if that decision is to liberalise Sunday trading. That is not real devolution, which would allow communities to extend or restrict Sunday trading; it is simply Sunday trading liberalisation masquerading as devolution.

There are many serious objections to the proposals. While they might lead to job creation in big shops, they will result in large job losses in smaller shops. They will contribute to the further erosion of Sunday premium pay. There are serious problems with the opt-out as a means of protecting people who do not want to work on a Sunday. I believe that many Members on both sides of the Chamber will agree that this is an attack on people of faith, on people of conscience and on those who do not want these changes. In a national opinion poll, 67% of the general public said that they did not want any change whatsoever in Sunday opening—no change on liberalisation. Some 60% of chief executives said that they wanted Sundays to stay as they are.

We must also look at some of the statistics relating to staff: 91% of the 10,000 retail staff who were asked opposed the Government’s plans to relax the current laws; 58% of shop workers—we must remember that they vote for people in this Chamber—in large stores are already under pressure to work more hours on Sundays; and 35% want less Sunday work and 72% suggested that they would face further pressure if regulations changed to allow shops to open longer.

I love this country and the things we stand for, and I feel very proud of our institutions, but as I have looked at the way this Government have handled this issue procedurally, I have become deeply saddened by the tactics they have employed; perhaps one issue on its own could be overlooked, but this has been sustained. These controversial proposals came with no manifesto mandate. The consultation on them was rushed and was held in the middle of the summer holidays, yet despite that some 7,000 responses were submitted, demonstrating that this is indeed a matter of great controversy and public concern. Rather than taking the hint and treading more warily, the Government then took the decision, not once but twice, to introduce this legislation through a Bill that has already been through the House of Lords.

I am very conscious of the time and where we are in the debate, so I conclude by saying that we are already deeply concerned about public disaffection with government and politics, yet in issuing this answer the Government have, in effect, told 7,000 people who engaged in this consultation in good faith that the Government do not understand what they said and so have not been able to take on board their comments. I suggest that a cross-party Committee of Members of this House should be established and given the task of reviewing the 7,000-plus submissions to discern whether it is possible to ascertain whether a

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submission supports or opposes the Government’s proposals in line with question 1. This is dead simple, so let us do that.

I strongly support amendment 1, because of the risks being posed to small businesses; the threat to the high street, as this will shift more retail to larger out-of-town developments; the pressure that will be placed on shop workers and their families; the considerable problems with the so-called “opt out” and schedule 5; and the serious procedural infelicities that have accompanied the way in which the Government have sought to advance these proposals. I commend the amendment to the House and ask everyone to support it.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: We have just over 27 minutes remaining. I call Sir Gerald Howarth.

Sir Gerald Howarth: I am delighted to support my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) by being a co-signatory to his amendment. The Minister is a great man, as befits being the hon. Member for Great Yarmouth, but he has had an impossible task today. I have never seen new, serious legislation affecting our country introduced in such a shambolic way. It looks like something delivered by and makes the back of a fag packet look like a sophisticated form of engagement. He has known, the Prime Minister has known and everybody has known for months that many Conservative Members are deeply unhappy with this. I was in the House 25 years ago when we hammered out the compromise over years, not hours or months—

Sir Edward Leigh: Two years.

Sir Gerald Howarth: It took two years, but we started the process before that, in 1986, and it was done over a period of time. The truth is that we arrived at that compromise after huge consultation and I believe it has largely worked; we have maintained Sunday as a different day and we have fulfilled the Keep Sunday Special concept. My hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr Jackson) is absolutely right to say that this goes to the heart of the fabric of our society; it is not simply about all the things relating to workers’ pay and all the rest of it. It is about the nature of our country, and I fully support what the hon. Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (Jonathan Reynolds) said on this. As a church warden at the royal garrison church in Aldershot, I think the Government’s proposals are deeply flawed. As the right hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr Lammy) said, there is also no demand for them, with 67% supporting the current arrangements and 90% of shop workers, who will be deeply affected by the Government’s proposal, opposed to it.

Victoria Borwick: Will my hon. Friend give way?

Sir Gerald Howarth: No, forgive me.

This proposal will also do nothing to relieve the problems felt by the beleaguered high street. I also wish to say something to my hon. Friend the Minister about delegating this responsibility to local authorities in my part of the world. I sit at the apex of four different council areas and there would be a serious domino effect involving Surrey Heath, Rushmoor, Hart and Bracknell—if one went, the rest would feel obliged to

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follow suit. The changes that were made there during the Olympic games seriously damaged small shops. I have in my constituency the Association of Convenience Stores—some may call it the association of Conservative stores—which is run by small people who do a fantastic, hard-working job. The Oxford Economics survey found that increasing the opening hours of large stores will cost the convenience store sector 8,800 jobs and £870 million in sales. My council does not want this change, and nor does the Association of Convenience Stores.

I say to the Minister that we have a solution at hand. My right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) has proposed an alternative. The Minister is apparently talking about an alternative that is supposed to have been tabled today. Of course it has not been tabled, but it will be tabled in the other place. Why do we not do as we did in 1993, which is to have a Bill setting out the three options—possibly more—one of which is no change at all, and then let us debate it over a period of time, instead of trying to rush it through in a couple of hours?

Barbara Keeley: The Minister’s last-ditch attempt at a compromise has already been described as scraping the barrel. I have to ask why we should believe last-ditch promises by this Government when the Prime Minister made a promise last April, and it is not being kept. My name is on amendment 1, and I agree with Government Members who have said that this should have been a conscience vote—a free vote.

The USDAW survey, which has been repeatedly mentioned—I congratulate USDAW on its sterling work—gives us a stark picture of existing Sunday working in both large and small stores. In fact, it tells us that 35% of staff in large stores and 55% in small stores want to work fewer hours, and less on Sundays. Chief executives from stores such as John Lewis and Sainsbury’s have expressed their concerns. They do not believe that there is an appetite among consumers and retail staff for this change.

I want to remind the House that there are carers in retail in the same way that there are in all occupations. The USDAW survey says that half of the staff that it surveyed have caring responsibilities for children, older people, people with disabilities or family members who are ill. Arranging alternative care for Sundays is very difficult,

Carolyn Harris (Swansea East) (Lab): Will my hon. Friend give way?

Barbara Keeley: I will not, because we are very short of time.

The opt-out has been described as “laughable”. Only 13% of staff in large stores and 10% in small stores have used that right to opt out. It is my opinion that the vast majority of retail staff do not want to see these trading hours extended. I have had very many emails from staff in my constituency who tell me that.

Devolving Sunday trading will lead to longer opening hours. The stores and shops in my constituency have to compete with the Trafford centre. At Christmas, it was easy to see in shopping centres such as the Trafford centre that longer hours do not mean more business.

9 Mar 2016 : Column 364

People simply do their shopping at a different time, or they shop in large stores and small stores lose the business.

Moreover, staff would lose their precious family time, and probably not gain in pay, because their shifts would just be stretched over seven days. If shops open longer and longer hours, it will have an impact on life on Sundays. As I mentioned earlier, many hundreds of my constituents are greatly affected by traffic going to and from the Trafford centre, and that would become never ending if stores were open for longer and longer hours. They would never have peace—not even on a Saturday night. The Government would not be able to deliver their smart motorway project if staff could not work on the motorway overnight.

In conclusion, we have enough issues in Greater Manchester with the devolution of powers, we do not need the postcode lottery of zones and the opening hours that the Government are threatening. I will vote for the amendment and I commend it to the House. I do so for families, especially those who are carers, for people who live near shopping centres and suffer from congestion and traffic, such as my constituents, and for the small shops and all the staff who work in them who may lose their jobs. Those are the reasons why I will be voting for amendment 1.

Victoria Borwick: I rise to speak in favour of Sunday trading, because, in a place such as London—I stand as a London MP—we should have some freedom for people to trade and choose how they do business. A person does not have to go shopping, but if they want to, they should have the opportunity to do so.

Many of the arguments have been made already, so I will talk briefly about garden centres. Some Members have already mentioned pets. People with pets may have to make a trip to a garden centre to stock up. Garden centres have made representations to me, because those animals have to be fed. So I am running a campaign to allow people to trade the hours that they want.

I had a meeting this morning with my local church leaders, and I was struck when an American vicar said, “I am now a vicar over here, but where I come from, we have more churchgoing than even in this country. Notwithstanding that, people can still do business throughout the day on Sunday.”

I urge all hon. Members to consider those who want to work, and to allow these freedoms for those who want a different day to celebrate with their families. Let us not be selective as to who can spend their religious day with their family. Ours should be an inclusive party that encourages people to spend their particular day with their family. I therefore urge my hon. Friends to vote in favour of Sunday trading.

5.30 pm

Helen Goodman: The main reason I will be supporting the amendment tonight is that the Government’s proposal is bad for people who work in shops—it is bad for them as individuals, it is bad for their families and it is bad for their communities.

The hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes) made a brilliant speech, and I was very disappointed by the Minister’s response. The notion that the British economy can become more efficient only by making

9 Mar 2016 : Column 365

people work seven days a week is absurd. If that is the economic model, there is something wrong with the economic model.

People work to live; they do not live to work. There are lots of things we could do that would be more efficient. We could propose to our partners by text, or we could read to our children on Skype from the office, but nobody would suggest those things. The constant denigration of family life is truly unhelpful.

The protections for those in shops are not working properly. It is ironic that the legal advice against the proposals comes from John Bowers QC, who is now the president of Brasenose College—perhaps the Prime Minister should go back to his old college and get a little tutorial on this problem.

We know from the experience of the Olympics that this proposal will not strengthen the economy; it will just shift business from small shops to big shops. It will also not stop people using the internet. I am afraid the Minister’s proposal for pilots and evaluation is very much undermined by the way the Government have handled the issue in the last six months.

I know that the amendment from the right hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman) is well intentioned, but the irony is that every cathedral city in the land would be zoned and have longer hours, and it is the Church that is leading the campaign against longer Sunday trading hours.

I have had no representations from constituents in favour of change—only representations in favour of keeping the status quo. That is true whether people run businesses or work in shops. I will leave the last word to a woman who works in a shop in my constituency, who wrote to me saying, “Don’t I deserve a life too?”

Karl McCartney (Lincoln) (Con): Like my good friend, my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mr Jackson), it is with a heavy heart that I will be voting in favour of the amendment tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes), who spoke so eloquently earlier. I say that because, to keep Sunday special, I will be voting against my Government—a decision that no loyal Government Member wants to take, and certainly not too regularly. It also means that I will be voting against my good friend and fellow sportsman, the Minister. He has spent some time speaking to me and other colleagues, trying to persuade us, but I think he was given a very sticky wicket. He will not mind my saying that he perhaps batted more like Geoffrey Boycott than Ian Botham. He did his very best.

The reasons why I will be supporting the amendment, and why other Members should consider supporting it, are based on three core issues: my Conservative principles and the traditions of our country; the impact on staff in all shops; and particularly the impact on small independent shops, their owners and their staff. These places are well used and well liked in the city of Lincoln, but if Sunday is no longer special, we will lose them.

There is something uniquely British—perhaps even Anglo-Saxon and, dare I say it, Christian and traditional—about the way we mark Sunday in this great country of ours. It is the one special day we have every week, and to lose that means losing something special about Britain. A week where every day is the same will mean a drab and very grey Britain.

9 Mar 2016 : Column 366

As a Conservative who believes in our country’s traditions and culture, undermining that special day is not something I can support. I personally would go even further and look at protecting other days in the year, such as Boxing day, Good Friday and Easter Monday, perhaps by imposing current Sunday opening hours on those days. Sunday already provides enough opportunities for large-scale shopping—if someone is up early enough, they have a full six hours. Those who want to shop online will do so, whether or not larger shops are open for longer on Sundays. For those who do not want to spend all day shopping in large malls or superstores on Sunday, there are plenty of convenience and independent shops to go to, and I am fearful about the impact of this measure on those shops, which are the lifeblood of many communities across our country.

I want to live in a country with a rich mixture of shops, not an endless sea of large, faceless superstores. I fear that extending the hours of larger shops on a Sunday will diminish choice, impact on the livelihood of those owning and working in smaller shops, and ultimately damage businesses on our high streets. I am also concerned about the impact on the families of shop workers. As well as Sunday being a special day for those who do not have to work, we must ensure that it remains a special day for those who do work. If we extend shopping hours, there will be no respite for those people, and throughout the week all they will have is snatched time with their families—they will be on a conveyor belt of work that never ends. Everyone needs quality family time, or just time away from work. As the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Helen Goodman) said, we should all work to live, not live to work.

I understand that big businesses want to sweat their assets. Closed large stores in Bluewater, Meadowhall or anywhere around the country earn no money from shoppers, and hence no profit for their owners. In the middle of the UK, I am sure that Bicester shopping village would want to open for 24 hours, 365 days a year, but what would be the effect on the staff working there? Sunday as it is currently is a Great British compromise that works for everyone. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, shop workers can spend quality time with their family, and we can still have that one special day of the week.

I do not want to live in a country where every day is the same, and where our traditions and uniqueness are lost. Upholding the traditional British way of life is important to me and my constituents, and that is why I will vote for the amendment. I hope that, after today’s reasoned debate, some of my Conservative and traditional colleagues will examine their consciences and support the amendment tabled by my sound and illustrious hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate.

Hywel Williams (Arfon) (PC): The Minister’s proposals on pilots are what we call in Welsh a “cath mewn cwd”—a cat in a sack—and if we open that sack, we will get our noses scratched, as far as I can see. With Wales, the Government are bypassing our National Assembly, fostering a relationship directly with our local authorities. They are bypassing our Government in Cardiff and acting on the basis of that peculiar entity, “England and Wales”. Local authorities in England and Wales are to be treated as if they exist in the same

9 Mar 2016 : Column 367

country, national devolution is ignored and, as the infamous entry in the first “Encyclopaedia Britannica” put it, “For Wales—see England”.

I have two brief points. First, there is a precedent in terms of the council tax benefits that were devolved to local authorities in England, but to the National Assembly in Wales. Secondly, this particular matter is devolved in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and I would say that Wales should be treated no differently.

Andrea Jenkyns (Morley and Outwood) (Con): Retail is in my blood. Growing up, my mother owned a shop, and at 16 I started work on the shop floor, working my way up to management. I spent nearly 20 years across the food, fashion, electrical and furniture retail sectors, working in the sort of stores on which the Bill will impact. I am passionate about our high street, which is why I chair the all-party group for high streets and town centres.

Our high streets are struggling, and the influence of the internet has had such a major impact that they are becoming a haven of pound shops and charity shops. We must do all that we can to support our high streets. Things are tough enough for retailers at the moment, and we must consider ways to increase footfall, not to limit growth opportunities. In 1994, at the age of 20, I remember signing a new contract to opt in to working Sundays. I was happy to do that because I wanted the hours—I wanted to save up for my future—and I am shocked that more than 20 years later we are still having this debate.

I am a firm believer that size should not matter and that there should be a level playing field for all retailers. It is discriminatory against retailers of more than 3,000 square feet if they cannot open for the same hours as those that are under that square footage. I remember being a manager of a store that was limited to six-hour trading, when the dilemma was that other stores on the high street were open for longer. Customers were confused about why our neighbouring stores could be open when we could not be. How do retailers get around this? Even 20 years ago, we would open for the same amount of time as other retailers, but with some time for browsing only. We were still employing staff for those hours, so the changes would not, as some critics say they would, impact on Sunday trading and on making Sunday special. Customers were frustrated, as they wanted choice. We still needed to employ staff for longer than six hours to replenish the stock.

In my retail management career, we had no trouble finding staff to work the Sunday shifts. Working on a Sunday was popular with students, those who wanted their first job, parents who found it easier to get babysitters for their children over the weekend and older people. If anything, I found it was the 20-something party-goers who wanted Saturday night on the razzle who were not so keen on working on a Sunday.

In my experience, opposing the changes on the grounds that they would not be fair to workers is a rather lame argument. As experience demonstrates, there are always some groups who are more than happy to work these shifts. We must allow for that flexibility. Some say that we need to keep Sunday special, and I respect that, but do they not shop on the internet on a Sunday? Do they

9 Mar 2016 : Column 368

not visit their local leisure centre on a Sunday? Goods are delivered on a Sunday, we eat out in restaurants on a Sunday and call centres are open on a Sunday. People in many sectors and professions work on a Sunday, and while there has been a lot of talk about rights, what about their rights?

We had the debate on Sunday trading 20 years ago. We cannot press a pause button and halt this changing world. We live in a global economy that trades 24/7. If we do not embrace it, we will be left behind. We need to ensure that the economy is flexible, dynamic and responsive to the new reality. I am the chair of the all-party group on local democracy. Its secretariat is the National Association of Local Councils, which represents 8,000 town and parish councils. I fully believe in devolution; it is one reason why I am a Brexiter and fully support coming out of the EU. How can we speak of devolution while we cede more power to Brussels? How can the SNP say it wants more power in Holyrood rather than Westminster, and oppose a Bill that is, in essence, truly devolutionary? To those Members who truly believe in devolution and putting the power into the hands of local decision makers, I urge them to support the provisions. By devolving Sunday trading laws, we will not only create more opportunities for our local economies and more employment opportunities, but give more power to local people. This is why I fully support the Government’s Bill.

Several hon. Members rose

Mr Speaker: Order. I would like to accommodate two more speakers, if possible.

Joan Ryan: As they say, you may not realise what you’ve got till it’s gone—I think that applies to all of us and not just to you, Mr Speaker. Once our special Sundays are lost, it will be impossible to get them back. Hon. Members often say, “I don’t know which way I am going to vote. I’m going to listen to the debate.” Frankly, I defy any rational person—any Member of this House who has listened to the debate—to explain why they would vote with the Government. If they had really listened to the debate, they would surely support the amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr Burrowes). We have heard so much information from Populus surveys and USDAW surveys—perhaps I should declare an interest as an USDAW member—showing us that just about everybody is against the changes. Nobody wants them—including, apparently, the Prime Minister before the election—yet here we are.

The changes would be bad for business. All the evidence set out today has demonstrated that, so I will not repeat it. They would be exploitative to shop workers and others who work in the retail sector, who do not want them. The public and consumers do not want them. There is no evidence that anybody wants them, yet the Government have consulted on the deregulation of Sunday trading hours three times in the past four years. It has been somewhat unseemly to see the Government scrabbling around today trying to patch together some kind of last-minute deal that would in no way protect us against deregulation in the future. I urge hon. Members to vote for the amendment and to see the end of proposals on this matter for a considerable period to come.

9 Mar 2016 : Column 369

Fiona Bruce (Congleton) (Con): I rise to support amendment 1, which bears my name on the amendment paper.

The Conservative party views family as being at the heart of a strong society, which is what we all want. Many Members have said that the Conservative manifesto made no mention of any changes to the Sunday trading rules, but it did have something to say about the importance of supporting family life. It pledged to

“back the institution of marriage”


“help families stay together and handle the stresses of modern life”.

It also recognised family breakdown as one of the four root cause of poverty.

5.45 pm

At the end of the previous Parliament, the Prime Minister instituted the family test, saying:

“We can’t go on having government taking decisions like this which ignore the impact on the family.”

However, that is just what we would do today if we were to pass the Bill without amendment 1.

Analysis by the Social Market Foundation says that the Government proposals disregard the family test. It says that Sunday working encroaches on family time; that fathers working on Sundays miss out disproportionately on time with their children, and not just on Sundays but throughout the week when their children are out; and that children whose parents have to work on Sundays often spend less time doing constructive activities that contribute to their development, such as reading and pursuing interests and sports. In other words, the policy is also at odds with the Government’s life chances agenda.

Perhaps that is why the impact assessment, which includes the family test assessment, has been published only today. It is wholly unacceptable for it to have been published at midday today. It contains 129 paragraphs and several annexes, and not one Member has said that they have been able to read it before this debate. A cursory glance at the document, however, shows that paragraph 98 states:

“To the extent that Sundays are family gathering days, there is a potential for families to be negatively affected if members are more likely to work or work longer on Sundays.”

Paragraph 100 states:

“A large number of the individual respondents to the public consultation felt that families would be negatively affected”,

but then goes on to say that

“this was not a representative survey”.

This was a Government consultation that had more than 7,000 responses; how can that not be a representative survey?

Let us be clear—there is no other way to put it—that these proposals are anti-family. I urge Members to vote for amendment 1 and to vote down the proposals in the Bill, because they are wrong. They are bad for families and bad for small business. There is no economic case and the public do not want them. In fact, when presenting the proposals to the Bill Committee, the only support that the Minister could cite was from retailers in the west end and Knightsbridge. To put it plainly, that is not sufficient basis on which to change regulations. The

9 Mar 2016 : Column 370

Government have no legitimate rationale or mandate for these changes, so I urge colleagues to vote for amendment 1 and against the proposals in the Bill.

Caroline Flint: It has been clear throughout the course of our debate that the Government have not made their case. On Second Reading, the Secretary of State spent two thirds of his speech talking about proposals for Sunday trading that were not even in the Bill, and today the Minister has presented us with proposals to change Sunday trading arrangements without giving us any information, so we are meant to take the Government’s promise on the never-never. This is bad law. Wherever Members stand on this issue, we should not be sending bad law through this House. We should reject the Government’s enticements to support them on something we have not actually seen, support amendment 1, and prevent this change to Sunday trading from happening.

Clive Efford: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. In response to a previous intervention, the Minister said that my local authority, Greenwich, had asked for this power to be passed to it. That was not correct. My local authority said that if the change is made, it should come to the local authority, not the Mayor of London or the Greater London Authority. How do we get the Government to put the record straight?

Mr Speaker: I think that the hon. Gentleman has found his own salvation, as he will be keenly aware. His attempted correction is now on the record.

5.49 pm

Three hours having elapsed since the start of proceedings on consideration, the debate was interrupted (Programme Order, 8 March).

The Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (Standing Order No. 83E), That the amendment be made.

The House divided:

Ayes 317, Noes 286.

Division No. 210]


5.49 pm


Abbott, Ms Diane

Abrahams, Debbie

Ahmed-Sheikh, Ms Tasmina

Alexander, Heidi

Ali, Rushanara

Allen, Mr Graham

Allen, Heidi

Anderson, Mr David

Ansell, Caroline

Ashworth, Jonathan

Austin, Ian

Bailey, Mr Adrian

Bardell, Hannah

Barron, rh Kevin

Beckett, rh Margaret

Benn, rh Hilary

Berger, Luciana

Betts, Mr Clive

Black, Mhairi

Blackford, Ian

Blackman, Bob

Blackman, Kirsty

Blackman-Woods, Dr Roberta

Blenkinsop, Tom

Blomfield, Paul

Boswell, Philip

Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben

Brennan, Kevin

Brock, Deidre

Brown, Alan

Brown, Lyn

Brown, rh Mr Nicholas

Bruce, Fiona

Bryant, Chris

Burden, Richard

Burgon, Richard

Burnham, rh Andy

Burrowes, Mr David

Butler, Dawn

Byrne, rh Liam

Cadbury, Ruth

Cameron, Dr Lisa

Campbell, rh Mr Alan

Campbell, Mr Ronnie

Caulfield, Maria

Champion, Sarah

Chapman, Douglas

Chapman, Jenny

Cherry, Joanna

Chope, Mr Christopher

Coaker, Vernon

Coffey, Ann

Cooper, Julie

Cooper, Rosie

Cooper, rh Yvette

Corbyn, rh Jeremy

Cowan, Ronnie

Cox, Jo

Coyle, Neil

Crausby, Mr David

Crawley, Angela

Creagh, Mary

Creasy, Stella

Cruddas, Jon

Cryer, John

Cummins, Judith

Cunningham, Alex

Cunningham, Mr Jim

Danczuk, Simon

David, Wayne

Davies, Geraint

Day, Martyn

De Piero, Gloria

Debbonaire, Thangam

Docherty-Hughes, Martin

Dodds, rh Mr Nigel

Donaldson, rh Mr Jeffrey M.

Donaldson, Stuart Blair

Dorries, Nadine

Double, Steve

Doughty, Stephen

Dowd, Jim

Dowd, Peter

Dromey, Jack

Dugher, Michael

Durkan, Mark

Eagle, Ms Angela

Eagle, Maria

Edwards, Jonathan

Efford, Clive

Elliott, Julie

Elliott, Tom

Ellman, Mrs Louise

Esterson, Bill

Evans, Chris

Farrelly, Paul

Farron, Tim

Fellows, Marion

Ferrier, Margaret

Field, rh Frank

Fitzpatrick, Jim

Flello, Robert

Fletcher, Colleen

Flint, rh Caroline

Flynn, Paul

Fovargue, Yvonne

Foxcroft, Vicky

Gardiner, Barry

Gibson, Patricia

Glass, Pat

Glindon, Mary

Godsiff, Mr Roger

Goodman, Helen

Grady, Patrick

Grant, Peter

Gray, Mr James

Gray, Neil

Green, Chris

Green, Kate

Greenwood, Lilian

Greenwood, Margaret

Griffith, Nia

Gwynne, Andrew

Haigh, Louise

Hamilton, Fabian

Harman, rh Ms Harriet

Harris, Carolyn

Hayes, Helen

Hayman, Sue

Healey, rh John

Henderson, Gordon

Hendrick, Mr Mark

Hendry, Drew

Hepburn, Mr Stephen

Hermon, Lady

Hillier, Meg

Hodge, rh Dame Margaret

Hodgson, Mrs Sharon

Hoey, Kate

Hollern, Kate

Hopkins, Kelvin

Hosie, Stewart

Howarth, rh Mr George

Howarth, Sir Gerald

Hunt, Tristram

Hussain, Imran

Irranca-Davies, Huw

Jackson, Mr Stewart

Jarvis, Dan

Jayawardena, Mr Ranil

Johnson, rh Alan

Jones, rh Mr David

Jones, Gerald

Jones, Graham

Jones, Helen

Jones, Mr Kevan

Jones, Susan Elan

Kane, Mike

Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald

Keeley, Barbara

Kendall, Liz

Kerevan, George

Khan, rh Sadiq

Kinnock, Stephen

Kyle, Peter

Lammy, rh Mr David

Lavery, Ian

Law, Chris

Lefroy, Jeremy

Leigh, Sir Edward

Leslie, Chris

Lewell-Buck, Mrs Emma

Lewis, Clive

Lewis, Mr Ivan

Lewis, rh Dr Julian

Long Bailey, Rebecca

Lucas, Caroline

Lucas, Ian C.

Lynch, Holly

MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan

Mactaggart, rh Fiona

Madders, Justin

Mahmood, Mr Khalid

Mahmood, Shabana

Malhotra, Seema

Mann, John

Marris, Rob

Marsden, Mr Gordon

Maskell, Rachael

Matheson, Christian

Mc Nally, John

McCabe, Steve

McCaig, Callum

McCarthy, Kerry

McCartney, Karl

McDonagh, Siobhain

McDonald, Andy

McDonald, Stewart Malcolm

McDonald, Stuart C.

McDonnell, Dr Alasdair

McDonnell, John

McFadden, rh Mr Pat

McGarry, Natalie

McGinn, Conor

McGovern, Alison

McInnes, Liz

McKinnell, Catherine

McLaughlin, Anne

McMahon, Jim

Meale, Sir Alan

Mearns, Ian

Miliband, rh Edward

Monaghan, Carol

Monaghan, Dr Paul

Moon, Mrs Madeleine

Morden, Jessica

Morris, Grahame M.

Mulholland, Greg

Mullin, Roger

Murray, Ian

Nandy, Lisa

Newlands, Gavin

Nicolson, John

O'Hara, Brendan

Onn, Melanie

Onwurah, Chi

Osamor, Kate

Oswald, Kirsten

Owen, Albert

Paisley, Ian

Paterson, Steven

Pearce, Teresa

Pennycook, Matthew

Perkins, Toby

Phillips, Jess

Phillipson, Bridget

Pound, Stephen

Powell, Lucy

Pugh, John

Rayner, Angela

Reed, Mr Jamie

Reed, Mr Steve

Rees, Christina

Reeves, Rachel

Reynolds, Emma

Reynolds, Jonathan

Ritchie, Ms Margaret

Robertson, rh Angus

Robinson, Gavin

Robinson, Mr Geoffrey

Rosindell, Andrew

Rotheram, Steve

Ryan, rh Joan

Salmond, rh Alex

Shah, Naz

Shannon, Jim

Sharma, Mr Virendra

Sheerman, Mr Barry

Sheppard, Tommy

Sherriff, Paula

Shuker, Mr Gavin

Siddiq, Tulip

Simpson, David

Skinner, Mr Dennis

Slaughter, Andy

Smeeth, Ruth

Smith, rh Mr Andrew

Smith, Angela

Smith, Cat

Smith, Jeff

Smith, Nick

Smith, Owen

Smyth, Karin

Spellar, rh Mr John

Starmer, Keir

Stephens, Chris

Stevens, Jo

Streeting, Wes

Stringer, Graham

Stuart, rh Ms Gisela

Tami, Mark

Thewliss, Alison

Thomas, Derek

Thomas, Mr Gareth

Thomas-Symonds, Nick

Thompson, Owen

Thomson, Michelle

Thornberry, Emily

Timms, rh Stephen

Trickett, Jon

Turley, Anna

Turner, Mr Andrew

Turner, Karl

Twigg, Derek

Twigg, Stephen

Umunna, Mr Chuka

Vaz, rh Keith

Vaz, Valerie

Vickers, Martin

Watson, Mr Tom

Weir, Mike

West, Catherine

Whiteford, Dr Eilidh

Whitehead, Dr Alan

Whitford, Dr Philippa

Williams, Hywel

Williams, Mr Mark

Wilson, Corri

Wilson, Phil

Wilson, Sammy

Winnick, Mr David

Winterton, rh Dame Rosie

Wishart, Pete

Woodcock, John

Wragg, William

Wright, Mr Iain

Zeichner, Daniel

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr Peter Bone


Mr Philip Hollobone


Adams, Nigel

Afriyie, Adam

Aldous, Peter

Allan, Lucy

Andrew, Stuart

Argar, Edward

Atkins, Victoria

Bacon, Mr Richard

Baker, Mr Steve

Baldwin, Harriett

Barclay, Stephen

Baron, Mr John

Barwell, Gavin

Bebb, Guto

Bellingham, Sir Henry

Benyon, Richard

Beresford, Sir Paul

Berry, Jake

Berry, James

Bingham, Andrew

Blackwood, Nicola

Boles, Nick

Borwick, Victoria

Bottomley, Sir Peter

Bradley, Karen

Brady, Mr Graham

Brake, rh Tom

Brazier, Mr Julian

Bridgen, Andrew

Brine, Steve

Brokenshire, rh James

Buckland, Robert

Burns, Conor

Burns, rh Sir Simon

Burt, rh Alistair

Cairns, Alun

Cameron, rh Mr David

Carmichael, Neil

Carswell, Mr Douglas

Cartlidge, James

Cash, Sir William

Chalk, Alex

Chishti, Rehman

Churchill, Jo

Clark, rh Greg

Clegg, rh Mr Nick

Cleverly, James

Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey

Coffey, Dr Thérèse

Collins, Damian

Colvile, Oliver

Costa, Alberto

Crabb, rh Stephen

Crouch, Tracey

Davies, Chris

Davies, David T. C.

Davies, Glyn

Davies, Dr James

Davies, Mims

Davies, Philip

Davis, rh Mr David

Dinenage, Caroline

Djanogly, Mr Jonathan

Donelan, Michelle

Dowden, Oliver

Drax, Richard

Drummond, Mrs Flick

Duddridge, James

Duncan, rh Sir Alan

Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain

Dunne, Mr Philip

Ellis, Michael

Ellison, Jane

Ellwood, Mr Tobias

Elphicke, Charlie

Eustice, George

Evans, Graham

Evans, Mr Nigel

Evennett, rh Mr David

Fabricant, Michael

Fallon, rh Michael

Fernandes, Suella

Field, rh Mark

Foster, Kevin

Fox, rh Dr Liam

Francois, rh Mr Mark

Frazer, Lucy

Freeman, George

Freer, Mike

Fuller, Richard

Fysh, Marcus

Garnier, rh Sir Edward

Garnier, Mark

Gauke, Mr David

Ghani, Nusrat

Gibb, Mr Nick

Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl

Glen, John

Goldsmith, Zac

Goodwill, Mr Robert

Gove, rh Michael

Graham, Richard

Grant, Mrs Helen

Grayling, rh Chris

Green, rh Damian

Greening, rh Justine

Grieve, rh Mr Dominic

Griffiths, Andrew

Gummer, Ben

Gyimah, Mr Sam

Halfon, rh Robert

Hall, Luke

Hammond, rh Mr Philip

Hammond, Stephen

Hancock, rh Matthew

Hands, rh Greg

Harper, rh Mr Mark

Harrington, Richard

Harris, Rebecca

Hart, Simon

Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan

Hayes, rh Mr John

Heald, Sir Oliver

Heappey, James

Heaton-Harris, Chris

Heaton-Jones, Peter

Herbert, rh Nick

Hinds, Damian

Hoare, Simon

Hollingbery, George

Hollinrake, Kevin

Hopkins, Kris

Howlett, Ben

Huddleston, Nigel

Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy

Hurd, Mr Nick

James, Margot

Javid, rh Sajid

Jenkin, Mr Bernard

Jenkyns, Andrea

Jenrick, Robert

Johnson, Boris

Johnson, Gareth

Johnson, Joseph

Jones, Andrew

Jones, Mr Marcus

Kennedy, Seema

Kirby, Simon

Knight, rh Sir Greg

Knight, Julian

Kwarteng, Kwasi

Lamb, rh Norman

Lancaster, Mark

Latham, Pauline

Leadsom, Andrea

Lee, Dr Phillip

Leslie, Charlotte

Letwin, rh Mr Oliver

Lewis, Brandon

Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian

Lidington, rh Mr David

Lopresti, Jack

Lord, Jonathan

Loughton, Tim

Lumley, Karen

Mackinlay, Craig

Mackintosh, David

Main, Mrs Anne

Mak, Mr Alan

Malthouse, Kit

Mann, Scott

Mathias, Dr Tania

May, rh Mrs Theresa

Maynard, Paul

McCartney, Jason

McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick

McPartland, Stephen

Mercer, Johnny

Merriman, Huw

Metcalfe, Stephen

Miller, rh Mrs Maria

Milling, Amanda

Mills, Nigel

Milton, rh Anne

Mitchell, rh Mr Andrew

Mordaunt, Penny

Morgan, rh Nicky

Morris, Anne Marie

Morris, David

Morris, James

Morton, Wendy

Mowat, David

Mundell, rh David

Murray, Mrs Sheryll

Murrison, Dr Andrew

Newton, Sarah

Nokes, Caroline

Nuttall, Mr David

Offord, Dr Matthew

Osborne, rh Mr George

Parish, Neil

Patel, rh Priti

Paterson, rh Mr Owen

Pawsey, Mark

Penning, rh Mike

Penrose, John

Percy, Andrew

Perry, Claire

Phillips, Stephen

Philp, Chris

Pickles, rh Sir Eric

Pincher, Christopher

Poulter, Dr Daniel

Pow, Rebecca

Prisk, Mr Mark

Pritchard, Mark

Pursglove, Tom

Quin, Jeremy

Quince, Will

Raab, Mr Dominic

Redwood, rh John

Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob

Robertson, Mr Laurence

Robinson, Mary

Rudd, rh Amber

Rutley, David

Sandbach, Antoinette

Scully, Paul

Selous, Andrew

Shapps, rh Grant

Sharma, Alok

Shelbrooke, Alec

Simpson, rh Mr Keith

Skidmore, Chris

Smith, Chloe

Smith, Henry

Smith, Julian

Smith, Royston

Soames, rh Sir Nicholas

Solloway, Amanda

Soubry, rh Anna

Spencer, Mark

Stephenson, Andrew

Stevenson, John

Stewart, Bob

Stewart, Iain

Stewart, Rory

Stride, Mel

Sturdy, Julian

Sunak, Rishi

Swayne, rh Mr Desmond

Swire, rh Mr Hugo

Syms, Mr Robert

Throup, Maggie

Timpson, Edward

Tolhurst, Kelly

Tomlinson, Justin

Tomlinson, Michael

Tracey, Craig

Tredinnick, David

Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie

Truss, rh Elizabeth

Tugendhat, Tom

Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew

Vaizey, Mr Edward

Vara, Mr Shailesh

Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa

Walker, Mr Charles

Walker, Mr Robin

Wallace, Mr Ben

Warburton, David

Warman, Matt

Watkinson, Dame Angela

Wharton, James

Whately, Helen

Wheeler, Heather

White, Chris

Whittaker, Craig

Whittingdale, rh Mr John

Wiggin, Bill

Williams, Craig

Williamson, rh Gavin

Wilson, Mr Rob

Wood, Mike

Wright, rh Jeremy

Zahawi, Nadhim

Tellers for the Noes:

Guy Opperman


Jackie Doyle-Price

Question accordingly agreed to.

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9 Mar 2016 : Column 373

9 Mar 2016 : Column 374

Amendment 1 agreed to.

9 Mar 2016 : Column 375

Ms Angela Eagle: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. The House has spoken on the very contentious issue of Sunday trading, which would have affected millions of workers. Can we now hear from the Government that they will respect the will of this House and abandon their tawdry attempts to reintroduce this proposal? And I mean the Chancellor.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Lady has made her point, but it is not a matter for the Chair.

The Speaker then put forthwith the Questions necessary for the disposal of the business to be concluded at that time (Standing Order No. 83E).

Schedule 5

Sunday opening hours: rights of shop workers

Amendments made: 13, page 91, line 25, at end insert—

“7A In section 48 (complaints to employment tribunals), after subsection (1) insert—

“(1YA) A shop worker may present a complaint to an employment tribunal that he or she has been subjected to a detriment in contravention of section 45ZA.””

This amendment is consequential on new section 45ZA of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (inserted by paragraph 7 of Schedule 5 to the Bill) and ensures that a shop worker can present a complaint to an employment tribunal in connection with a detriment suffered in contravention of that section.

Amendment 14, page 91, line 46, at end insert—

“8A In section 108 (qualifying period of employment), in subsection (3) after paragraph (d) insert—

“(da) subsection (2) of section 101ZA applies (read with subsection (3) of that section) or subsection (4) of that section applies,””.—(Brandon Lewis.)

This amendment is consequential on new section 101ZA of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (inserted by paragraph 8 of Schedule 5 to the Bill) and ensures that the two year qualifying period of employment for unfair dismissal cases will not apply in relation to cases involving a refusal to work additional hours on Sunday or the giving of an objection notice to working such hours.

Mr Speaker: Our consideration having been completed, I will now suspend the House for no more than five minutes in order to make a decision about certification. The Division bells will be rung two minutes before the House resumes. Following my decision on certification being communicated, the Government will table the appropriate consent motions, copies of which will be made available in the Vote Office and distributed by the Doorkeepers.

6.7 pm

Sitting suspended.

6.12 pm

On resuming—

Mr Speaker: I can now inform the House that I have completed certification of the Bill, as required by the Standing Order. I have made no change to the provisional certificate issued yesterday. Copies of my final certificate will be made available in the Vote Office and on the parliamentary website.

Under Standing Order No. 83M, consent motions are therefore required for the Bill to proceed. Copies of the motions are available in the Vote Office and on the

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parliamentary website, and they have been made available to Members in the Chamber. Does the Minister intend to move the consent motions?

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade (Sajid Javid) indicated assent.

Mr Speaker: I believe I have had the necessary nod. We must now under the relevant Standing Order forthwith resolve into the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales), and thereafter into the Legislative Grand Committee (England).

The House forthwith resolved itself into the Legislative Grand Committee (England and Wales) (Standing Order No. 83M).

[Mr Lindsay Hoyle in the Chair]

6.13 pm

Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) (SNP): On a point of order, Mr Hoyle. Can you explain exactly what is going on with this particular procedure we are asked to consider?

The Chairman of Ways and Means (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Do not worry. I can give the answer now: no, I do not.

There will now be a joint debate on the consent motion for England and Wales and the consent motion for England. I remind hon. Members that all Members may speak in the debate but that, if there are Divisions, only Members representing constituencies in England and Wales may vote on the consent motion for England and Wales, and only Members representing constituencies in England on the consent motion for England.

I call the Minister to move the consent motion for England and Wales. I remind the Minister that, under Standing Order No. 83M(4), on moving the consent motion, the Minister must also inform the Committee of the terms of consent for England.

Stephen Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire) (Con): The legislative consent motions are before the House and available to Members. I beg to move.


That the Committee consents to the following certified clauses and schedules of the Enterprise Bill [Lords] and certified amendments made by the House to the Bill:

Clauses and schedules certified under Standing Order No. 83L(2) as relating exclusively to England and Wales and being within devolved legislative competence

Clauses 30, 32, 39 and 40 as amended in Committee (Bill 142) including any amendments made on Report;

Amendments certified under Standing Order No. 83L(4) as relating exclusively to England and Wales

The omission in Committee of Clauses 33 and 34 of the Bill as introduced (Bill 112).—(Stephen Barclay.)

Mrs Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) (Lab): On a point of order, Mr Hoyle. I seek some clarification. The paperwork handed out says “Legislative Grand Committee (England)”, but the oral statement referred to “England and Wales”. May I seek clarification about the difference?

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The Chairman: The House shall now resolve itself forthwith into the Legislative Grand Committee (England).

The House forthwith resolved itself into the Legislative Grand Committee (England) (Standing Order No. 83M(4)(d)).

The Chairman: I remind hon. Members that no further debate on the consent motion for England is permitted and that, if there is a Division on the motion, only Members representing constituencies in England may vote. This extends to expressing an opinion by calling out Aye or No when the Question is put.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith (Standing Order No. 83M(4)(d)),

That the Committee consents to the following certified clauses and schedules of the Enterprise Bill [Lords] and certified amendments made by the House to the Bill:

Clauses and schedules certified under Standing Order No. 83L(2) as relating exclusively to England and being within devolved legislative competence

Clauses 22 to 25 and 27 of and Schedule 4 to the Bill as amended in Committee (Bill 142) including any amendments made on Report;

Amendments certified under Standing Order No. 83L(4) as relating exclusively to England

Amendments 10 to 18 made in Committee to Clause 26 of the Bill as introduced (Bill 112), which is Clause 32 of the Bill as amended in Committee (Bill 142).—(Stephen Barclay.)

Hon. Members: Aye.

Pete Wishart: No.

The Chairman: I think the Ayes have definitely got this one. It was a lonely but valiant effort.

Question agreed to.

The occupant of the Chair left the Chair to report the decisions of the Committees (Standing Order No. 83M(6)).

The Deputy Speaker resumed the Chair; decisions reported.

Third Reading

6.17 pm

Sajid Javid: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Third time.

Businesses are Britain’s engine room. The success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them. I will always back them, and I will always stand by them. That is why one of my first acts as Business Secretary was to introduce this Bill. [Interruption.]

Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): Order. Can we have less noise while the Secretary of State is addressing the Chamber?

Sajid Javid: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker.

It is certainly an ambitious Bill that covers a lot of ground. During its passage through the House, it has grown to cover still more, adding to the benefits it will bring businesses right across the country. That would not have been possible without the dedication of the officials and Clerks here in Parliament and the officials back at my Department, so let me take this opportunity to thank them, on the record, for all their hard work.

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Huge credit should also go to my ministerial colleagues, who have worked tirelessly to steer the Bill through the House Commons—the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, the Minister for Skills and the Minister for Housing and Planning. They have all done a tremendous job, and I really cannot thank them enough. Finally, I would also like to thank the hon. Member for Wallasey (Ms Eagle), who on Second Reading found it in her heart to call one clause “entirely sensible”. She is not in her place at the moment, but coming from her, that was high praise indeed!

The result of today’s vote on Sunday trading is disappointing. Our amendment was about attracting more people to high streets, helping struggling local businesses and helping to secure jobs for hard-working people. It would have made a lot of difference to many businesses up and down the country.

I respect the views of hon. Members who supported the amendment as a matter of principle; I have full respect for that. However, I am extremely disappointed by the childish and hypocritical actions of SNP Members. They seek to deny English and Welsh shoppers the same freedoms that are enjoyed in Scotland, and although they are a party built on the principle of devolving powers from Whitehall, they deliberately stand in the way of a measure that does just that.

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): As someone who believes that people in England should have a measure of devolution in response to the devolution that exists in the rest of the country, I would like to ask my right hon. Friend to confirm what actually happened today—that irrespective of whether Sunday trading is a good thing or a bad thing, the majority of English Members of Parliament voted in support of giving our local communities and our local councils the right to decide this matter for themselves, yet they have been denied by MPs from a part of the United Kingdom that it would not have affected at all.

Sajid Javid: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The SNP are only interested in creating headlines, not jobs, and my hon. Friend’s point is absolutely correct—a clear majority of English and Welsh MPs wanted to see this change, but it was denied by the SNP.

Several hon. Members rose

Sajid Javid: I shall give way in a moment.

This shows that we were absolutely right when we warned during the election that if a weak Labour Government ever got into office, they would be propped up by an unprincipled SNP. That is why we must never let either of those parties get closer to power.

Ms Angela Eagle: I think the right hon. Gentleman should learn a bit of grace in defeat, because that is what the House likes. Will he confirm that these proposals did not fall under the EVEL or the WEVEL parts of our procedures, and will he also confirm that, having listened to the will of the House, this Government have no intention of bringing these Sunday trading proposals back before us?