Clause 1 - Large shops not to open on Christmas Day

Christmas Day (Trading) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:30 am ar 4 Ebrill 2001.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office 10:30, 4 Ebrill 2001

I beg to move amendment No. 1, in page 1, line 12, leave out `religion' and insert `Sabbath'.

Photo of Eric Illsley Eric Illsley Llafur, Barnsley Central

With this it will be convenient to take amendments Nos. 2 to 6.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office

I welcome you to the Chair, Mr. Illsley. I am sure that under your wise and considered judgment we will make suitable progress.

As hon. Members know, the Government are neutral on the Bill. The amendments make minor and technical drafting changes. Amendment No. 1 reflects the language used in the Sunday Trading Act 1994 in defining exemptions from the Bill. Those exempted include members of all religious bodies who observe the Jewish Sabbath by closing their shops on Saturday, not simply those of the Jewish faith. Amendment No. 2 is a minor drafting amendment.

Amendment No. 3 modifies the definition of ``large shop'' so that the reference to Sunday in paragraph 1 of schedule 1 to the 1994 Act has effect in the Bill as a reference to Christmas day. Amendment No. 4 has a similar effect; it means that in considering whether the shops specified in paragraph 3(2) of schedule 1 to the 1994 Act are exempt, regard should be had to the business being carried out on days of the year other than Christmas day. Amendment No. 5 makes clear that the commencement date will be appointed by the Secretary of State by order in a statutory instrument. Amendment No. 6 makes a minor drafting change.

The amendments are put forward in a spirit of neutrality on the merits of the Bill. They are intended to ensure that the Bill is well drafted and that it will make good law should the House pass it.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.