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Sunday Trading

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th June 1992.

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Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South 12:00 am, 24th June 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has received about the Scottish law on Sunday trading.

Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

Since the beginning of this year, I have received two representations advocating the imposition of restrictions on Sunday trading in Scotland.

Photo of Mr John Marshall Mr John Marshall , Hendon South

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer, which shows that the majority of Scottish people are satisfied with total deregulation. Does he agree, therefore, that it would be immoral, illogical and hypocritical for Scottish Members to vote to impose upon the people of England and Wales restrictions that do not apply in Scotland?

Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

My hon. Friend puts his point effectively. I would simply say that it would be impertinent for me, as a Scottish Minister, to advance my view on what my English colleagues should do with regard to shop hours in England.

Photo of Mr Calum MacDonald Mr Calum MacDonald , Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Does the Secretary of State acknowledge that there are problems with the law on Sunday trading in Scotland, particularly in respect of the lack of protection for employees who do not want to work on Sundays? Will the right hon. Gentleman therefore undertake to look again at the legislation to see whether better protection might be provided for employees who, because of their religious convictions, do not want to work on Sundays?

Photo of Mr Ian Lang Mr Ian Lang , Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

That is a matter for negotiation within the various industries and with the various unions involved. I am not aware of any great dissatisfaction. As I said, I have received only two representations about the matter this year. I believe that the arrangements in Scotland work pretty well and are infinitely adaptable to suit the needs of all concerned.