Parliament will this afternoon debate a petition to close stores on Boxing Day, which has gained more than 140,000 signatures.
The government does not support a ban on stores opening during the major retail day. It pointed out Boxing Day’s importance to national and local economies, as well as how the internet has changed the shopping landscape.
Responding to the petition, the government said: “We do not believe it is for central government to tell businesses how to run their shops or how best to serve their customers. Therefore we are not proposing to ban shops from opening on Boxing Day.”
There are no controls on retailers’ opening hours on Boxing Day unless it falls on a Sunday, when large stores of more than 3,000 sq ft are limited to six continuous hours of trading between 10am and 6pm.
The debate is due to start at 4.30pm.