Independent retailers have opposed leaked government proposals to relax Sunday trading laws, allowing supermarkets in England and Wales to open for longer.

The NFRN’s National President Stuart Reddish, who is a retailer in Chesterfield, said: “If the government thinks that these proposals would boost the High Street then it is wrong.”

He continued “People value their local store; it is the heart of the community, but the government’s plans would see business diverted to the supermarkets, bringing no growth in sales, a decline in jobs and the closure of many stores depriving the local communities of the amenities they offer.

“This would not be good for the High Street or for customers. What’s more a recent Populus poll said that 58% of respondents support the present arrangements.”

Mr Reddish concluded: “None of the seven reviews conducted since 2011 has called for a change in the Sunday trading laws in order to boost the High Street, so I call on the Prime Minister to drop these badly thought through plans and instead do something that will genuinely help independent retailers.”