Thursday 17 October 2019

Proposal to end clock changes in EU by 2021

Stock picture
Stock picture

Ralph Riegel and Cormac McQuinn

Ireland's love-hate relationship with clocks jumping forward and backwards an hour each year will end in 2021 under a proposal progressing through the EU.

However, the Government here has said the decision is not final and has argued more time is needed for the proposal.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has said that Ireland will face a choice between winter or summer time amid the plans in Brussels. She welcomed the move and said that Irish people took part in a European public consultation that voted overwhelmingly to stop the clock changes. She said among the "many benefits" would be brighter winter evenings, improved road safety and an economic boost.

The recommendation was made by the European Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee.

The Department of Justice said the European Parliament must now approve the committee's recommendation before further negotiations by the Council of Ministers.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan set up a consultation process on the matter last year and analysis is being conducted on the results, with a report being prepared for consideration by Government.

A spokesman said the committee's ruling is a proposal and "not a final decision". He added that if the proposal is adopted by the EU it would require legislation to change the law.

"Ireland is one of a large number of member states which has said that more time is needed to consider the proposal. Particular implications arise for the island of Ireland," he said.

He said member states have said co-ordination with neighbouring countries is needed.

Irish Independent

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