Business and Planning Bill

(2nd reading: House of Commons)
Sir Edward Leigh Excerpts
Monday 29th June 2020

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Alok Sharma Portrait Alok Sharma - Hansard

My hon. Friend makes a compelling case for his constituency, and he makes an equally important point that this is an opportunity to get businesses going—up and running—after a period of enforced hibernation.

Sir Edward Leigh Portrait Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con) - Hansard
29 Jun 2020, 12:05 a.m.

We are all very grateful for my right hon. Friend’s efforts, particularly to help small businesses. I have noticed in Lincolnshire that small businesses and shops seem to have done better during the lockdown, as people have wanted to shop locally. As we are helping small business, would it not be a retrograde step if we were to reopen Sunday trading laws, since it is our present Sunday trading laws that do so much to protect small shops and businesses from large businesses and supermarkets?

Alok Sharma Portrait Alok Sharma - Hansard

As my right hon. Friend will know, measures related to Sunday trading are not in the Bill, but of course Sunday trading has been temporarily relaxed in the past, during the Olympics, and that was about ensuring support for businesses and consumers. But as I said, that is not in the Bill.

Through this Bill, we also want to support the construction sector to get Britain building again by enabling the extension of site operating hours and extending until 1 April 2021 planning permissions that have lapsed or will lapse between 23 March and 31 December.