Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland won't change time zone to suit the EU, say unionists

By David Young

The Government has dismissed fears that plans by Brussels to change EU time zone rules could mean a 'time border' down the Irish Sea.

The European Commission is proposing to end the practice of putting the clocks forward in spring and back in the winter.

But under the current EU 'backstop' plans to keep Northern Ireland in the EU single market after Brexit, that could mean Belfast being stuck in a different time zone from the rest of the UK every seven months.

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

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London said: "The UK Government has no current plans to change Daylight Saving Time."

Last night unionists also rubbished the Brussels plan.

DUP MP Sammy Wilson said: "Brussels may wish to turn the clock back to the good old days when the UK was under their control, but they've no chance.

"There will be no second referendum, they are not going to change our time zone, and they're not going to change our minds.

"We're leaving. Full stop."

UUP MLA Alan Chambers said that he'd had to check to see whether April Fool's day had come early.

"There is quite simply no prospect of Northern Ireland ever having a different time zone to the rest of the United Kingdom, regardless of who or what is advancing such an idea," he said.

"As far as the Ulster Unionist Party is concerned, Northern Ireland will be staying very firmly in the same time zone as the rest of the United Kingdom."

Belfast Telegraph


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