- 2 Nov 2018
23 October 2018
With the recent publication of a UK Government Explanatory Memorandum you will be aware that the European Commission is proposing to abandon the current system where Member States change the clocks in March and October each year. The proposal is that the final mandatory changing of the clocks would take place in late March 2019. Each member state would have to decide whether to stay on permanent ‘summertime’ or ‘wintertime’. If they opted for wintertime, then they could change the clocks one last time in October 2019.
While the Explanatory Memorandum does not describe the potential impact on Scotland. I discussed this proposal with members of the Convention of the Highlands and Islands on 22nd October. Guided by their response, I write to make clear that I am, as ever, very keen to work with you to represent Scotland’s interests. I am sure you recognise that the effect of this proposal, if implemented, would be more pronounced in Scotland given greater extremes in the extent of its daylight hours, which increase the further north you go.
The Scottish Government’s established position has been – and is - that there is no substantive economic or social case for any change to existing arrangements, or for different time-zones within the UK.
As Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy I particularly recognise that the current system of daylight saving should be maintained to avoid putting practical difficulties in the way of those making a living in northern and rural areas. The impact would be particularly felt by the farming community and other outdoor workers and could have a negative effect on Scottish rural
business in general.
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