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Proposal to end clock changes could mean goodbye to lighter evenings

For all equestrians counting down the days until spring and lighter evenings… it could be time to make the most of them while they last.

The EU is proposing an end to seasonal clock changes, which may mean goodbye to either longer, brighter evenings in the summer or lighter mornings in winter.

It would mean the UK no longer aligns with the EU on clock changes if it declines to follow suit.

If the proposal goes ahead, it would mean a permanent shift to either the winter or summertime clock.

“So far the government has stuck its head in the sand on the EU Commission’s proposal, hoping that it goes away,” said Baroness Donaghy, chair of the EU internal market sub-committee.

“However, if it doesn’t, we could be caught unaware and unprepared to make a decision, leaving the island of Ireland with two time zones at different times of the year and causing difficulties for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

“This is a complex issue with a range of consequences for different industries and people in the United Kingdom.

“If the UK chose to align itself with the EU, it would need to decide which permanent time zone it should adopt. Before making a final decision, the government must fully examine the implications of aligning or non-aligning with the EU, look at and where necessary commission relevant research and give the public and other stakeholders an opportunity to have their say.”

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An EU-wide consultation received 4.6 million responses, 84% of which were in favour of abolishing the clock change practice.

A joint paper from representatives in the aviation industry warned that, “without complete synchronisation”, the aviation industry would be “left in chaos”, as clock changes were “built in to airlines business models, seasonal planning, fleet and crew planning and rostering, and schedules”.

Concerns have also been raised about the impact it could have on businesses trading with EU member states.

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