Published:

29 comments

Sir Patrick Cormack Yesterday Sir Patrick Cormack presented a Bill to the Commons that would put the same restrictions on trading on Remembrance Sunday as already apply to Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

As he explained to the House:

"I
believe that this a very modest but very sensible proposal. It is
extremely difficult for members of the British Legion in some towns and
cities to organise their remembrance parades because of the clutter,
hustle and bustle of the high street on Sunday. Many people who would
wish to pay their respects by standing silently at the local cenotaph
are local shop workers. This Bill has the very strong support of the
Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, and I am delighted to
be able to introduce it.

"The
Bill would not affect farm shops, pharmacies, petrol filling stations,
shops at airports or railway stations, or shops at exhibitions that are
specially staged on a Sunday. Rather, it would mean that large
shops-those of 280 square meters, or 3,000 square feet, and above-would
not be able to open on Remembrance Sunday. It would also mean that the
loading restrictions in force for Easter day and Christmas day would
apply.

"When
we first debated Sunday trading, I was one of those who strongly
opposed the removal of all restrictions. I said in a speech then that,
if we abolished all the restrictions, we would end up with a high
street Sunday that was a replica of Saturday. Whatever view colleagues
take of Sunday trading, no one can deny that that is what has happened.
In all our major towns and cities, the hustle and bustle and activity on a Sunday mirror that of the day
before, the Saturday. Surely it is not too much to ask that only a
second Sunday of the year-and, on those rare occasions when Christmas
day falls on a Sunday, a third-should be set aside.

"Christmas
day is a great day of family celebration. Easter day is too and, like
Christmas, it is also a great religious festival. However, there are
very few families in the land who have not been touched in one way or
another by the conflicts of the last century."

"We
have just gone though the war in Iraq, and we are still at war in
Afghanistan. I really feel that we should set aside Remembrance Sunday,
so that the remembrance ceremonies can be conducted with proper and due
decorum, and so that the ringing of the cash till does not drown out
the observance of the silence."

The Bill passed its First Reading without a vote; Sir Patrick is being supported in his bid by fellow Conservatives Chris Chope, Christopher Fraser, Ann Widdecombe and Sir Nicholas Winterton, along with  Vince Cable (Lib Dem), Rosie
Cooper (Lab), Nigel Dodds (DUP), Kate Hoey (Lab), Elfyn
Llwyd (Plaid Cymru), Richard Taylor (Ind) and Tony Wright (Lab).

Jonathan Isaby

29 comments for: Sir Patrick Cormack calls for large shops to be forced to close on Remembrance Sunday

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.