Don Valley MP Caroline Flint made the final speech urging MPs to vote against changes to Sunday trading in a passionate parliamentary debate this week. Ms Flint co-sponsored an amendment, which was voted on after her speech, to defeat the Government’s proposals.
Speaking after the debate, Caroline Flint said: “Sunday trading was never part of the Enterprise Bill when it was published. The Government have tried to sneak it into the Bill at the last minute. Then during this last debate they asked MPs to vote for revised plans that were not even written down for MPs to see.
“At every stage, Labour has challenged and opposed this plan, and supported our current laws on Sunday trading. The Government deserved to be defeated and I am very pleased that common sense prevailed. Today was a victory for small businesses, for shop workers and for families who value Sundays.
“We have a great British compromise over Sunday Trading and over two thirds of the public are happy with the current arrangements. The evidence from the shop workers union USDAW shows that many workers feel pressured to work on a Sunday. The Government’s plans would have led to far more people having to work longer hours on a Sunday. People already have six hours plus browsing time in large stores and unlimited opening for small stores – there was no case for a further extension.”
During the final stages of the Enterprise Bill, MPs made one final attempt to block Government plans to deregulate Sunday trading. The Don Valley MP attacked Ministers for introducing the proposals, which had not been part of the original bill, and then savaged the Minister for trying to announce a pilot scheme - a last minute attempt by the Government to avoid defeat.
The Commons then voted to defeat the Government’s proposals by 317 to 286. Caroline Flint was a co-sponsor of the amendment that defeated the Government.
Ministers confirmed shortly afterwards that Government plans to change Sunday trading laws had been dropped.
Click on the photo to view the speech.