Sunday trading change rejected
The Government has ruled out a change to Sunday trading laws following a major consultation.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) carried out the review looking at whether shops should be allowed to open beyond the current six hours.
But Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling is expected to reject calls from large retail chains in England and Wales to deregulate the system, in an announcement later today.
A DTI spokeswoman refused to confirm the time of any announcement but it is widely expected that Mr Darling will make a statement in the House of Commons later.
The Sunday Trading Act 1994 restricts large shops from opening for more than six continual hours, but places no restriction on small shops. It also prohibits large shops from opening on Easter Sunday.
Large retailers, including Asda, have been calling for the system to be reformed to bring it more into line with opening hours in Scotland, where Sunday opening hours are not regulated.
The DTI consultation period ended in April and took in views from consumer groups, retailers and religious groups.
Those campaigning for deregulation claim it would generate millions in revenue for the UK economy. A spokesman for the My Sunday My Choice campaign said: "For many retailers Sunday is their second busiest day of the week but it is condensed into a very short shopping window.
This can mean busy stores, long queues and a poor availability of products." He said that consumers and shop workers should be offered greater choice about when they were allowed to shop and work.
But campaign groups like Keep Sunday Special want to see the day protected. A statement on the group's website states that they are "greatly encouraged" by reports that the DTI does not plan to liberalise trading laws but added, "we await the official announcement".
educationTo mark International Women's Day, Sarah Brown on how charities have brought proper joined-up thinking to the delivery of education
Lammily: Barbie-like doll hits Kickstarter fundraising target in a day
12 Years A Slave star Lupita Nyong’o on racism in beauty: 'Every day I woke up hoping my skin was a little bit lighter'
Belle Knox: How a porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
Oscar Pistorius trial: Neighbour feared South African athlete would use gun that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to kill himself
Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: Singapore named costliest place to live – but what about London?
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 First clip of Outkast's Andre 3000 in Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side emerges
£1200 per month: Inspiring Interns: Our client is one of Europes leading mobi...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Founded in 2008 by two Chinese tech entre...
£12000 - £18000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a high-end niche t...
£22000 - £25000 per annum, Benefits: Subsidised gym membership, 25 days holiday...