MPs have voted against the government’s plans to relax Sunday trading laws in England and Wales.
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The government lost by 317 votes to 286 - a majority of 31.
In the hope of averting a possible defeat, earlier today the government offered to trial the changes - which would give local councils in England and Wales the freedom to relax Sunday trading hours for larger retailers, who are currently restricted to trading for six hours - in 12 areas.
The government said their impact on communities and workers would be evaluated after a year before MPs could decide on whether to extend them throughout England and Wales.
However, some MPs were not convinced. Labour and the Scottish National Party voted against, along with a group of Tory rebels.
As reported by Drapers, the SNP last night decided to vote against the plans in order to “protect the rights of workers in Scotland”.
The plans will not directly affect Scotland, where there are no trading restrictions in place. But the SNP said it is concerned about the knock-on effects on Scottish pay.