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International Time Zones

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 November 2020

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Questions (1052)

Cormac Devlin

Question:

1052. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Justice the daylight savings time arrangements for 2020-2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32420/20]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Ireland switches to “summer time” on the last Sunday of each March and switches back to “winter time” on the last Sunday of each October. This year, “winter time” commenced at 1.00 a.m. on Sunday 25 October and will end at 1.00 a.m. on Sunday 28 March 2021.

Ireland is currently party to an EU-wide arrangement on this issue. There is an ongoing proposal under discussion within the EU Working Party on Transport for an EU Directive to discontinue seasonal clock changes.

The EU Commission’s proposal would have particular implications for the island of Ireland, especially in the context of the UK’s pending withdrawal from the European Union. A wide ranging public survey, stakeholder engagement and a public opinion poll were conducted in the context of developing Ireland’s position on this proposal.

The results demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of respondents would not be in favour of any change that would result in two time zones on the island of Ireland, which would inevitably lead to increased difficulties for business and the general public.

More generally, in the context of the EU proposal, Ireland’s position, along with a number of other Member States, has reflected concern that the proposal could reduce synchronicity and result in a ‘patchwork’ of time zones across the EU, thereby causing unnecessary confusion in the Single Market. Ireland has supported a call for a full impact assessment of this proposal to be carried out prior to any final decisions being made at EU level.

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