Government considers supporting Daylight Savings Bill
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28 October 2011 - BIS
The Government is to
consider supporting the Daylight Savings Private Members Bill which
could eventually mean the advancing of time by one hour throughout the
year across the country for a trial period, but only if there is UK
The Government is seeking amendments to the Bill, at the
forthcoming Committee stage in the House of Commons, expected in early
November. The Bill will need to be passed by both Houses by the end of
the first session of Parliament, which ends in April 2012.
The most notable of these amendments will be to require the
Secretary of State to consult the devolved administrations in Scotland
and Wales and to obtain the agreement of the devolved administration in
Northern Ireland to any proposed trial. The Government would not,
however, expect to introduce a trial if there was clear opposition in
any part of the UK.
The Bill as drafted would require a review of the potential
costs and benefits of advancing the clocks by one hour. It would then
require the Secretary of State to bring forward legislation in
Parliament to implement a trial advancement of the clocks by one hour,
if a new Independent Commission concluded, in the light of the
evidence, that this would be beneficial. Any trial would then last
Further amendments to be tabled include changing the
Independent Commission to an Independent Oversight Group who would
advise the Secretary of State on the preparation of any report.
Business Minister Edward Davey said:
“This is an issue which affects everyone across the country so
we cannot rush head first into this. As the Prime Minister has made
clear we would need consensus from the devolved administrations if any
change were to take place. We have therefore tabled amendments to the
current Bill to make sure that it addresses these concerns.
“It is only right that we at least look at what the potential
economic and social benefits of any change might be. Lower road deaths,
reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved health have all been
argued over the years as possible benefits. If there is strong evidence
to support this then we should at least see what the possible benefits
This year, British Summer Time (BST) will end on Sunday 30
October at 2.00 am GMT throughout European Union Member States. The
clocks go back giving an extra hour. This means that at 2.00 am
(British Summer Time) the UK will move to 1.00 am GMT.
- Rebecca Harris MP introduced
the Private Members Bill on 30 June 2010 to ‘require the Secretary of
State to conduct a cross-Departmental analysis of the potential costs
and benefits of advancing time by one hour for all, or for part of the
year’ and ‘to require the Secretary of State to take certain action in
the light of that analysis; and for connected purposes.’ The Bill
passed Second Reading in the House of Commons on 3 December 2010.
- The 9th European Commission
Directive on summer time harmonised, for an indefinite period, the
dates on which summer time begins and ends across member states as the
last Sundays in March and October respectively. Under the Directive,
summer time begins and ends at 1.00 am GMT in each Member State.
Amendments to the Summer Time Act to implement the Directive came into
force on 11 March 2002.
- Time zones are the
responsibility of individual Member States and vary across the EU.
- The devolution arrangements
for time zones are asymmetric – responsibility is devolved in Northern
Ireland but reserved in Scotland and Wales. Accordingly, for any
daylight saving trial consultation will be needed with the devolved
executives in Scotland and Wales and the consent of the executive in
Northern Ireland will also be required.
- The Crown Dependencies (the
Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) are not part of the United Kingdom
and have power to pass separate legislation relating to time in their
particular areas. Nevertheless, as any daylight saving trial would be
likely to have a substantial impact on the Crown Dependencies they are
being kept informed and their views on any change would be sought.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-11-03 17:52:16 in Business Articles