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Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Trading (Scotland) Act 2007

Summary and Background to the Act

3.The Act prohibits large shops from opening for the purpose of retail trading on Christmas day and confers power to prohibit such shops opening on New Year’s day. At present there is no legislation in place in Scotland to stop shops of any size from trading on any day of the year.

4.The Act does this by:

  • Making it a criminal offence for a large shop to open for the purpose of making retail sales on Christmas day.

  • Conferring power on the Scottish Ministers to make it a criminal offence, by order to be approved by the Parliament, for a large shop to open for the purpose of making retail sales on New Year’s day, following a consultation, the making of a report and the submission of a statement of reasons to the Parliament

  • Defining a large shop as one with a trading floor area exceeding 280 square metres.

  • Exempting specified trades or businesses and shops at specified places

  • Defining who commits the offence and providing a due diligence defence.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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