Government plans to extend Sunday trading hours have taken a step forward after the SNP indicated it would no longer oppose the policy.
The Government proposals to allow local councils to determine their own Sunday trading laws looked set to be blocked by the Scottish National Party, who had previously vowed to oppose the plan.
Alongside Labour representatives and 20 Tory rebels, the SNP’s opposition made it unlikely that the Government would have sufficient numbers in the Commons to pass the Enterprise Bill, which includes removing the current six-hour limit on Sunday trading.
However, the SNP has changed its stance on the issue following news that employers would face penalties for not informing workers that they had the legal right to refuse to work longer hours on Sundays.
SNP business spokeswoman Hannah Bardell said: “The SNP has never been opposed to the principle of Sunday trading.
“However, our initial concern and opposition was primarily around the potential knock-on impact to Scottish workers of any changes in England and Wales to Sunday trading.
“The SNP welcome the provision for additional employee protections that the UK Government has brought forward. Without the strong and principled action of the SNP, such protections may never have materialised”.
It comes after anti-Sunday trading campaign ‘Keep Sunday Special’ issued ministers with a letter of action outlining plans for a future Judicial Review examining the impact the longer trading hours would have on family life.