Law and religion round-up – 13th March

Sunday trading and EVEL, the EU Referendum, fitness to practise, Belgian Scientologists, vicarious liability, Post Offices – it never seems to stop…

Sunday trading liberalisation defeated

On Wednesday, the Government’s back door attempt to sneak through an extension to Sunday Trading was defeated by a substantial majority. Whilst Christian Today proclaimed “Christian campaigners hail ‘victory’ as government defeated on Sunday trading“, in practice the success of David Burrowes’ amendment was achieved through the non-selection of the manuscript amendments offering Government concessions, which may have swayed some of the Tory rebels, and the support of the SNP members: perhaps the Lords Spiritual had prayed for “deliverance from EVEL” – ‘English Votes for English Laws’ – under which Scottish MPs are excluded from voting in many other parts of the Bill. However, others might also point to the role of the Speaker in these two aspects of the proceedings.

Planning minister Brandon Lewis was reported as saying that “We respect the view of the House of Parliament. The Commons has spoken and given a very clear view – we have to absolutely respect that.” Continue reading