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Government urged to overhaul Sunday trading laws to boost Christmas shopping

SUNDAY trading laws must be overhauled to boost Christmas shopping sales, the Government was told last night.

Stores are pleading for longer opening hours after the lockdown ends.

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They want the rules relaxed for the three Sundays left before December 25.

Opening stores for longer would aid social distancing and help boost sales devastated by Covid clamps, they say.

Tory MP Nus Ghani said: “Lockdown 2 impacted businesses and jobs just as preparations were being made for the Christmas shopping season.

“Archaic Sunday trading laws in December will limit shopping and trade just when it’s needed most. Considering other Covid changes to support the economy, restricting Sunday trading is absurd and out of touch.”

Marks & Spencer said last night: “We want our customers to be able to shop with confidence this Christmas.

“We’ve extended our opening hours and are now offering bookable shopping slots.

“Along with the wider industry, we’re also asking for Sunday trading hours to be extended to help us increase our capacity.”

There are no restrictions on small shops but those of more than 280 square metres can open for only six continual hours between 10am and 6pm.

James Martin of the British Chambers of Commerce said: “New restrictions will be a blow to many firms who worked hard to become Covid secure.”

A Business Department spokesman said: “Sunday trading laws still apply. We will keep measures under review.”

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