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Sunday Trading

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 11 January 1990

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To ask the Attorney-General if he has received any representations following the European Court of Justice decision on Sunday trading made on 23 November 1989; and if he will make a statement.

I commonly receive representations from diverse sources on the enforcement of the legislation relating to Sunday trading, and I have continued to receive such representations since the European Court of Justice gave its judgment in case 145/88 on 23 November 1989.The task of interpreting the judgment of the European Court of Justice now falls to the national courts both in the case in which the judgment has been given and in any other cases to which it may be relevant. I understand that a very large number of cases were adjourned to await the decision of the European Court. The way is now open for those cases to proceed to a conclusion.A duty to enforce the Sunday trading legislation was expressly imposed on local authorities by section 71 of the Shops Act 1950. I said in my answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Orpington (Mr. Stanbrook) on 17 April 1989 that in my view local authorities did not cease to be bound by that duty while the decision of the European Court was awaited, and they continue to be under that duty now that the decision of the European Court has been given.