Belfast Telegraph

No wind-up: Stormont chiefs prefer summer time all year round

Summer time in Northern Ireland. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com
Summer time in Northern Ireland. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye.com

Emails of Northern Ireland civil servants have revealed "concern" over EU proposals to ditch the bi-annual time change, it has been reported.

But if it does go ahead, Stormont officials would prefer it to be summer time all year round.

The European Commission is proposing to end the practice of putting the clocks forward in spring and back in the winter. Members states are considering which time zone they would prefer with the potential it could be introduced in 2019.

The UK Government is "actively working" to convince the EU to block the proposal.

Read more: Dublin and Belfast could soon be in different time zones because of EU vote to abolish summer time

The Daily Mail reports of "concern" in the corridors of power in Northern Ireland and Westminster over the move with Stormont officials saying travellers may have to adjust their time when they cross the border.

Emails obtained by the paper reveal that although the UK would be under no obligation to adopt the measure after Brexit, it may well fall into line with the new directive.

A senior official in Stormont's Department for Economy said officials would likely advise in favour of adopting summer time all year round.

Outlining the time zone changes, Euro chief Jean-Claude Juncker told German broadcaster ZDF earlier this year: "We carried out a survey, millions responded and believe that in future, summer time should be year-round, and that's what will happen."

There has, however, been criticism of the survey carried out by the commission after it was revealed the vast majority of responses received were from Germans.

There has long been calls for the UK to drop the 'spring forward, fall back' time change in a bid to improve safety levels allowing more daylight in the winter evenings.

A Government spokeswoman said: "Ministers are actively working to convince other member states to block this proposal.”

The Department for the Economy has also been asked for a comment.

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