Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (269)

Thomas P. Broughan


269. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to move Ireland to permanent summer time in 2021; the consultations which may take place nationally on this matter and with the UK to ensure a common time zone on the islands of Ireland and Great Britain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16425/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Following an EU wide consultation last year, the EU Commission published a proposal to abolish the twice-yearly clock change.  Member States are being asked if they are in favour of ending the seasonal clock changes and whether they wish to stay on "summer" or "winter" time.  Under the current version of the proposal, the practice of a twice-yearly clock change would cease from 2021. 

Discussions with Members States on the proposal are on-going via the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council.  Ireland is one of a large number of Member States which has said that more time is needed to consider the proposal, and in order that Member States can allow for coordination with neighbouring countries. 

In this regard, my Department ran a public consultation process on the proposal to end seasonal clock changes.  A report on the consultation exercise is being prepared and will be considered by an Interdepartmental Steering Group which my Department chairs.  I intend to present the Group's report to Government shortly.  Following on from this, more details of the consultation exercise and its outcome will be published on the Department's website. 

My Department is in contact with UK officials in respect of the impacts of this proposal.  Ireland's position at all times has been that any measure which resulted in differing time zones between Ireland and the UK would present particular challenges for the island of Ireland.  The  position adopted by Ireland on the proposal will be informed by this important consideration.