The Belgian authorities have cleared UK high street retailer MARKS AND SPENCER of acting illegally, when it announced it was closing its operations in the country.

The company said yesterday that following an investigation into how it went about announcing its plans, authorities had decided  “that all legal procedures have been respected.” The decision may mean that M&S will not face a legal challenge to its planned closure of its operations in Belgium.

However, a Belgian government spokesperson said no decision had yet been taken and that an investigation into M&S’s actions was still going on.

The company who announced its restructuring plans last month was found to be in breach of labour laws in France and Belgium, which require prior consultation of closures before a public announcement.

The French government is considering introducing measures to make it harder and more expensive for companies to sack workers after public concern at recent restructuring moves by M&S and French food group Danone.