// Supermarket bosses launch fresh lobbying drive to extend Sunday trading hours
// The bosses have warned ministers that the Christmas shopping rush could put customers’ safety at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic
Supermarket executives have reportedly launched a fresh lobbying drive to extend Sunday trading hours ahead of a Christmas shopping rush.
The bosses have warned ministers that the Christmas shopping rush could put customers’ safety at risk during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Big 4 grocers including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have been urging the government in recent weeks to enable thousands of their stores to open for more than six hours on Sundays in December, Sky News reported.
The move would require primary legislation, with previous efforts to extend Sunday opening times drawing opposition from MPs and retail unions.
Earlier this year, it was reported that larger supermarkets would be allowed to open for longer on Sundays for a year under emergency legislation being drawn up by Boris Johnson’s government.
However, the proposals attracted immediate opposition from Conservative MPs.
The plans aimed to boost the economy and help struggling retailers who have been impacted by the pandemic.
Writing to Johnson, a group of seven Conservative MPs warned him against the move.
“We stand squarely behind your ambition to stimulate economic growth and revitalise British high streets, but removing Sunday trading hours will not achieve this,” said the statement, signed by Fiona Bruce, David Amess, William Wragg, Martin Vickers, David Jones, Andrew Selous and Bob Blackman.
Sunday trading laws were introduced under the Sunday Trading Act 1994, which limits shops with retail space over 280 square metres to a maximum of six hours of trading.
Former PM David Cameron’s attempt to abolish Sunday trading laws in 2016 failed after 27 Tory MPs rebelled.