Britain could be forced to end daylight saving time by the European Union after Brexit, a Lords committee has warned.
The European Commission is planning to end the changing of the clocks a month after Brexit in April 2019, during the transition period.
-New EU rules could ban the UK from changing clocks in the autumn and spring
-Brussels is planning to end the practice of ‘daylight saving’ across the EU
-Would mean EU countries choosing to adopt permanent summer or winter time
-It is not due to come in until after Britain has left the EU next year
New EU rules could ban the UK from changing its clocks in the autumn and spring, a report warns today.
Brussels is planning to end the practice of ‘daylight saving’ across the EU following claims that it is unpopular.
The move would mean EU countries having to choose to adopt permanent summer or winter time, leaving Belfast potentially having to decide whether to align itself with clocks in the Republic or the rest of the UK, peers warned.
However, the Lords EU internal market committee has now brought the proposals back into the limelight as it suggested the UK may have to ditch changing the clocks due to Brexit.
Speaking out against the proposals in a critical report, the committee suggested the European Commission gave “inadequate consideration of how the role of summertime arrangements varies between member states”.
The geographical position of the UK means the benefits and drawbacks of a permanent summer-time or permanent winter-time differ between its northern and southern regions, it said.
The committee also warned that the European Commission had given “inadequate evaluation of alternative options”, such as allowing member states to make their own decision.
“Increased questioning” of the current summertime arrangements is cited as a reason for action by the European Commission, something the Lords committee disputed.
“We do not accept that there is substantial evidence of this,” the report states.
“The 4.6 million respondents to the Commission’s consultation exercise represented less than 1% of all EU citizens, and response rates varied drastically between member states.
“This is evident in the fact that 84.6% of replies came from only three Member States, including 70% from Germany.”
It concluded: “We recommend that the House of Lords should issue the reasoned opinion concluding that the European Commission’s proposal does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity.”
Chair of the EU internal market sub-committee Lord Whitty, said: “The European Commission’s proposal to end seasonal time changes goes beyond its remit and is not in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.
“We are therefore recommending that the House of Lords issues a reasoned opinion. The report will be debated on Wednesday.”
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