Plans to liberalise street trading in the City of London, including letting ice cream parlours sell their wares outdoors, have been approved in principle by the Lords.
The City of London (Various Powers) Bill, which also brings in penalty notices for parking on the city’s walkways, gained an unopposed second reading.
But junior business minister Baroness Wilcox warned that changes would be needed to the private legislation, which is promoted by the City Corporation, to ensure it complied with the EU Services Directive.
Street trading is currently banned in the Square Mile, other than at the Sunday market in Petticoat Lane, on account of its narrow and winding streets.
Conservative ex-Cabinet minister Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, former MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, hailed the “deregulatory changes to the local street trading legislation, balanced by more effective enforcement where this is needed”.
Former City minister Lord Myners, supporting the Bill, quipped that ice creams should be offered as rewards to investment bankers “rather than the large bonuses which so many of us find are unpalatable”.
“We should not rest until we all enjoy lollies of the same size as (Barclays chief executive) Mr Bob Diamond’s,” the Labour peer declared.