Belfast Telegraph

Move to block EU bid for two Irish time zones

By Michelle Devane

The Irish government is set to oppose the EU's plan to end seasonal clock changes to ensure the island of Ireland does not end up with two time zones post-Brexit.

The country's justice minister Charlie Flanagan said it would be "profoundly serious" if a situation emerged where Northern Ireland and the Republic were in two different time zones.

He made the comment after the country's Cabinet ministers agreed yesterday not to support the EU's proposals to abolish daylight saving time.

Member states have to decide this year whether they want to choose permanent summer or winter time and end the twice-yearly clock changes.

But if Brexit goes ahead, the UK may not have to adhere to the changes.

There are concerns that if it did not, Northern Ireland could find itself in a different time zone from the Republic for six months of the year.

Mr Flanagan said: "While I acknowledge that many favour ending the practice of seasonal clock changes, the proposal is not a straightforward one.

"It would be profoundly serious if two different time zones were to exist on the island of Ireland, creating significant unnecessary problems for people living on the border and for the all-island economy.

"I am heartened to note that the Government's decision today is in agreement with 82% of the public in a representative opinion poll."

Belfast Telegraph


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