Sunday observance

Part of Petitions – in the House of Commons at 1:55 pm on 17th February 1989.

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Photo of Mr Stuart Randall Mr Stuart Randall , Kingston upon Hull West 1:55 pm, 17th February 1989

No, I shall not.

The spirit behind the deregulation of the Sunday trading laws coincides with the deregulatory attitude adopted by the hon. Member for Berkshire, East.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dumbarton said that in Ireland there is racing on Sundays and that the betting shops are closed. He felt that we should consider following that practice. He also mentioned the trade unions and said that the TGWU and USDAW are opposed to the Bill because of the serious effects that it will have on employees in the industry.

If we are to make progress we must ensure that the terms and conditions of workers, as outlined in the Bill, are made appreciably better. People should be able to feel that they can work on a Sunday if they desire without its having an unacceptable effect on their way of life.

The hon. Member for Crawley spoke about the law being in disrepute and he is correct. As I said in answer to the hon. Gentleman's earlier intervention, the important thing is how we work in the future to re-establish the law's repute. The hon. Gentleman said that he does not believe that the Bill is a stalking horse for Sunday trading, but I am not sure that that is so. I have my doubts and I believe that many people in the country are suspicious. I believe that—