MPs last night waved through plans to ease Sunday trading laws to help retailers cash in on the Olympics this summer.
The bid to ease trading regulations between 22 July and 9 September was supported by 272 votes to 125 after coalition MPs were instructed to vote with the plans.
Ministers stressed that the move was not a precursor to a permanent shift in trading laws. But the Association of Convenience Stores reiterated its warning that “trading chaos” would result from the “ill-conceived and unnecessary” move.
“We are disappointed that this has been forced through Parliament,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman.
“It is clear from the debate that MPs from all main parties had a number of concerns that were not adequately addressed.
“Local shops across the country have had their say in past four weeks and MPs referred time and again to the concerns they had heard from constituents. This includes thousands of postcards and letters co-ordinated by ACS and other small shops groups.
“We believe that the scale of political and popular opposition expressed should convince ministers that further erosion of Sunday trading rules is both unwanted and unnecessary.”