Ireland set to oppose EU daylight saving time plans

The Irish government is set to oppose the EU’s proposed change to daylight saving time to ensure the island of Ireland does not end up with two time zones post-Brexit.

The country’s justice minister Charlie Flanagan is expected to seek Cabinet approval on Wednesday to oppose the EU’s plans to abolish seasonal clock changes.

The European Commission set out proposals last year for an end to the annual ritual of changing the clocks in the spring and autumn.

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

Charlie Flanagan
Minister for justice Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)

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.

It is understood that Mr Flanagan will ask his cabinet colleagues to reject the proposal to prevent that situation arising.

It is also believed he has concerns that member states having different time zones could lead to confusion within the single market.

The UK is also opposed to the proposal.

The UK and Ireland have shared the same clock times since 1916.

At present European time zones are only determined by geographical location on an east to west basis.

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