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Sunday Trading

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that those shops that have been trading on Sundays in contravention of current English law do not retain the resulting profits, in the event of a European Court of Justice decision upholding that law.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has from police authorities and chief constables on the financial and manpower consequences for policing as a result of the opening of shopping facilities on the four Sundays before Christmas.

None. Deployment of police officers is a matter for the chief constables concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring before Parliament a statutory instrument to amend schedule 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to include offences under section 47 of the Shops Act 1950.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave on 16 December to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Congleton (Mrs. Winterton) at columns 10–11.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he received the Durham university business school report "Women and Work" on women's attitudes to working unsocial hours in the retail trade;(2) what conclusions he has drawn from the Durham university business school report "Women and Work" for any changes to the law on Sunday trading.

My right hon. Friend and I received copies of the report on 27 and 26 November respectively. The report is currently being evaluated.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on changes to the Sunday trading laws in France.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the extent to which food superstores opening on Sundays are complying with the licensing laws in every respect.

Because the enforcement of the liquor licensing law in England and Wales is a local matter for the police, no such assessment is called for.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what account he has taken of the Robert George industrial tribunal decision on Sunday working in considering his policy on the reform of the law on Sunday trading.

Policy implications, if any, of decisions of industrial tribunals are primarily for the Department of Employment. In developing policy on reform of the law on Sunday trading, we work closely with them on the interests of those who do and do not wish to work in retailing on Sundays.