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Decision on daylight saving not for EU, says Lords Committee


The decision to end daylight saving changes of time should not be made by the EU, and the proposal to do so is a breach of EU treaty principles, according to the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee.

The Committee has today published a report recommending that the House of Lords should issue a ‘reasoned opinion' that the European Commission's proposal to end daylight saving changes of time does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity, and Member States are best-placed to decide for themselves. 

The House of Lords is scheduled to debate the report on Wednesday 24 October.

Key points:

  • The European Commission has proposed legislation to oblige all Member States to stop observing daylight saving clock changes.
  • Should the UK and EU reach Brexit deal according to the terms of the draft Withdrawal Agreement, the UK would be required to implement this proposal during the transition period.
  • The Committee recognises that harmonisation of Member States' summertime arrangements is beneficial to the proper functioning of the EU internal market but does not believe that the European Commission has adequately explained why or justified that the EU should make the decision for all Member States to stop daylight saving arrangements.
  • The Committee does not believe that the European Commission has adequately explored alternatives – such as Member States being able to opt in to changes of time, and those that do being required to coordinate.
  • The Committee considers that geographical and other specificities leave Members States best-placed to determine whether seasonal time changes remain appropriate or not.
  • The Committee concludes that the Commission's proposal to end seasonal changes of time does not comply with the EU principle of subsidiarity.

Chairman of the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee Lord Whitty said: “The European Commission's proposal to end seasonal time changes goes beyond its remit and is not in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity. We are therefore recommending that the House of Lords issues a reasoned opinion. The report will be debated on Wednesday.”

The debate is expected to begin at about 7pm.  

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