Monday 14 October 2019

EU clock-change reforms could pose 'challenges' to Ireland, says Flanagan

'Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is correct the budget for An Garda Síochána – €1.76bn – is large but there is a difference between an overall budget and an efficiently spent budget.' Photo: Collins Photo Agency
'Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is correct the budget for An Garda Síochána – €1.76bn – is large but there is a difference between an overall budget and an efficiently spent budget.' Photo: Collins Photo Agency
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has used this weekend's clock change to acknowledge EU proposals on daylight savings time could present "challenges" to Ireland.

'Summer time' will commence at 1am tomorrow, when clocks should be put forward one hour.

Mr Flanagan used his reminder of the change to provide an update on EU plans to scrap daylight savings time, the twice-yearly time change.

There are fears that it could result in two time-zones on the island of Ireland if the UK doesn't also adopt the proposals post-Brexit so that Northern Ireland will be included.

The plan moved a step closer during the week after MEPs voted to back the proposal.

The suggestion was first put forward in September 2018, however, a compromise was agreed to see any implementation deferred until April 2021.

Mr Flanagan said that discussions between EU member states were still ongoing.

He said Ireland was among a large number of countries that had argued that more time was needed to consider the proposals in order to allow co-ordination with neighbouring jurisdictions.

He said: "It is important to acknowledge that if the UK were to adopt a different position, this would present particular challenges for the island of Ireland.

"Any position adopted by Ireland will be informed by this important consideration."

The Government is awaiting a report on public consultation carried out here about the plan to get rid of daylight savings time.

Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune, who backs the idea, said benefits would include improved outcomes for "road safety and economic benefits".

Irish Independent

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