Regulatory Reform Committee

Session 2003-04                        10 December 2003


The Government laid this proposal before Parliament on 14 October 2003 under the procedure laid down by the Regulatory Reform Act 2001.  The proposal for the regulatory reform order would amend the law regarding trading on Sunday in two respects.  The Committee has assessed these separately as proposals A and B.

The purpose of proposal A is to remove the requirement in the Sunday Trading Act 1994 that occupiers of large shops-shops with a floor area of over 280m2- have to notify their local authority of their Sunday opening hours, or any changes to them, at least fourteen days in advance of any changes taking effect.  It will also remove the requirement on local authorities to keep a register of Sunday opening hours for inspection by members of the public.

The purpose of proposal B is to repeal section 26 of the Revenue Act 1889, which prohibits the sale of methylated spirits between the hours of 10pm on a Saturday and 8am on a Monday.

The Committee considered this proposal in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Committee's Standing Order.  It considers that these proposals are straightforward: they impose no new burdens, and do not remove any necessary protections.  The Committee has recommended that a draft order be laid before the House in the same form as the proposal.

The Committee's full report will be published as its First Report of Session 2003-04, HC 108, at 2.00 pm on 16 December.  The report will be available from all Stationery Office outlets.  It will also be available on the Committee's publications website ( from 3.30 pm on the day of publication.