Published: Mon, 26 March 2018
As the clocks go forward by an hour at 1am on Sunday for Irish Standard Time or “summer time”, Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament is continuing his campaign to keep Daylight Savings Time (summer time) all year round.
Mr Kelly is the only Irish Member of a cross party group of MEPs campaigning for a review of DST: “Our Parliamentary Resolution, adopted on Thursday the 8th of February 2018, calls on European Commission to conduct a thorough assessment of this Directive and, if necessary, come up with a proposal for a revision of the clock change system.
“I am campaigning to keep DST (summer-time) all year round. A number of studies around the impacts of the clock change, which show that disruption to the natural rhythm, has a detrimental impact on sleep and health. The change can lead to weakened immunity, increased anxiety and depression in some cases.
“Furthermore, American scientists studying the phenomenon can now prove 100,000 car crashes per year are related to sleepiness in the USA alone – usually occurring in the first two weeks after the time change.
“Additionally, Farmers have also reportedly witnessed an impact on their animals, particularly dairy farmers when cows must hold their milk for an extra hour.
For these and other reasons, I believe it is high time that EU countries agree together to scrap the twice-yearly time change, to let the clocks switch to summertime next year, in March 2019, for example, and leave them there for good,” said Mr Kelly.
The Commission will now review the EU law, which came into force in 2001 setting an EU-wide date and time for the start and end of summer.
“Realistically, all EU countries would need to agree to make the change together. For the protection of the Single Market, it would need to be EU-wide. I would ask all EU government to keep an open mind and reflect on the forthcoming review by the Commission,” the Ireland South MEP added.