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08 March 2016

MPs to vote on Sunday trading

MPs to vote on Sunday trading

Parliament will vote next week on government proposals to deregulate Sunday trading and allow local authorities to permit longer opening hours.

At present larger shops are only permitted to open for up to six hours, whereas the government are proposing to allow local authorities to decide how long shops can open for on Sundays.

Ahead of the vote on Wednesday 9 March the Evangelical Alliance is asking you to write to your MP using the simple form below setting out your views.

It now appears that SNP MPs will vote with the government for these proposals, making it more likely this measure will be approved, and more vital that MPs hear the opinion of their constituents on this issue.

The Bishop of St Albans wrote to the The Times this week warning against the proposals. The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith said: "The proposals will further disrupt the rhythms of community life that are integral to the common good and the space for shared time and activities this is central to human flourishing."

Speaking in parliament George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, defended the plans: "We cannot in this House constantly say that we worry about our high street and then not allow high street stores to open on the day when the biggest level of internet shopping takes place.

"This is one of the answers to helping our high street. It's not the only one, but it is an important one."

We would encourage you to write a short email using the tool below setting out why MPs should resist the government proposals. Some powerful arguments against changing the regulations are set out in this article, which include:

  1. The treatment of workers and the freedom to have a set day off
  2. The protection of local shops and community businesses from the dominance of large chains
  3. Promoting a vision of life that is far bigger than when we can buy something from the shop

Please also pray for MPs on Tuesday as they vote on this crucial issue, and for government ministers as they take decisions about whether to proceed with this policy.

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