The Government’s plans to change Sunday trading law have been defeated in the House of Commons as MPs voted against it by 317 votes to 286.

The proposals, which formed part of the Enterprise Bill, would have seen local councils given the power to remove Sunday trading hours in their local area.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Today’s vote will be a welcome relief for local shop owners, who would have lost out to superstores and out of town retail parks if these measures had been passed.

“The flaws in the Government’s plans have been exposed, and MPs from across the House have voted to retain our popular existing Sunday trading regulations. We encourage the Government to look at measures that will actually help the high street such as business rates reform, and look forward to hearing about the Chancellor’s plans to help retailers in next week’s Budget.”

Mike Cherry, policy director at the Federation of Small Businesses, added: “Today’s vote in the House of Commons is a major win for small businesses across England and Wales. Our members have been unconvinced of the economic case for relaxing Sunday trading rules and there has been no impact assessment to support the proposals.”

During the debate, Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis MP attempted to promise amendments to the proposals which would have seen 12 pilot zones deregulated over the next 12 months, but this amendment was rejected twice – first by the speaker of the house and second by MPs who voted against the plans.