Late Night and Sunday Trading Laws

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7 May 1981.

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Photo of Sir Anthony Meyer Sir Anthony Meyer , Flint West 12:00, 7 May 1981

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to complete his review of late night and Sunday trading laws.

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

My right hon. Friend hopes to make a statement before the Summer Recess.

Photo of Sir Anthony Meyer Sir Anthony Meyer , Flint West

Will my hon. Friend accept that that is good news? Is he aware that, as 17 years have elapsed since Lord Crathorne's committee recommended that the Sunday trading laws be tidied up, and as absurdities continue to multiply, including an instance when a supermarket attempted to open on Sunday for the benefit of the disabled and was closed under the present law, a statement cannot come too soon?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

I am glad that my hon. Friend is looking forward to the statement. There is great difficulty in taking action over the trading laws because of a total lack of agreement, which was well illustrated in my hon. Friend's recent debate.

Photo of Mr George Cunningham Mr George Cunningham , Islington South and Finsbury

Although the Minister cannot give us the detail of the statement, will it contain the final Government decision on what they want to achieve or will it be more speculative and tentative?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

It would be wrong to encourage exaggerated expectations of a strong and positive programme. We shall give our views on what, if anything, should be done.

Photo of Peter Viggers Peter Viggers , Gosport

Have the Government formed a view on traders who hire rooms in hotels to carry on business on Sunday?

Photo of Mr Timothy Raison Mr Timothy Raison , Aylesbury

The Government have not formed a collective view on the matter and nor have I formed a view. No doubt we can consider it when considering the general problem.