Move to European time fails in Commons
A BID to consider moving UK time forward by an hour to Central European Time has faltered after a ‘small group’ of MPs talked out the Bill during its report stage, meaning it ran out of time.
The Daylight Saving Bill, in the form of a Private Members’ Bill, had been introduced by Tory MP Rebecca Harris.
It would have given the go-ahead for a three-year study into the benefits of moving the clocks forward by an hour, meaning lighter winter evenings, which supporters claimed would cut road deaths, boost tourism and reduce energy use.
It would have meant having the clocks at Greenwich Mean Time plus one hour (GMT +1) in the winter and GMT +2 in the summer.
However, the suggestion had met with a mixed response from the UK’s farming unions, with one saying it had no views one way or the other, while another was ‘sceptical’ about arguments in favour of a move.
Following the Bill’s failure to move forward, the Government said it would not allow any more time to debate it, despite calls from MPs on all sides of the House for it to do so.
Speaking during the business statement this week, Commons Leader Sir George Young said the Bill should not be given any more time because it stood no chance of becoming law.
With no further days expected to be given to debate Private Members’ Bills this Parliamentary session, the legislation is expected to fall.
Sir George said giving the Bill more time would not ‘do the trick’, and suggested another MP should ‘pick up the baton’ and try to push through similar legislation in the next Private Members’ Bill ballot.