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SNP could block Sunday trading changes

Plans to relax laws around Sunday trading in England and Wales could be blocked by the Scottish National Party, which intends to vote against the measures over fears it could drive down wages in Scotland.

The political party, led by Nicola Sturgeon, believes normalising shopping hours on a Sunday would result in business leaders setting a lower wage for workers across the UK, according to The Guardian.

The party also fears it could wipe out the wage premium paid to employees for working on a Sunday in Scotland, where the Sunday Trading Act never applied.

It is yet another stumbling block for plans to allow large stores and multiples with units of more than 3,000 sq ft to trade for longer than six hours, as first announced by George Osborne in his July budget.

In October, a group of 20 rebel Tory MPs said they planned to vote against it for a variety of reasons, including the belief that it will harm small businesses. Others also said they may abstain.

Business secretary Sajid Javid is now understood to be considering whether the Tories will have the parliamentary numbers to win the vote.

The reforms are expected to be included in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, which will go through the committee stage of Parliament on November 17.

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