Published: Fri, 26 March 2021
Seán Kelly MEP is urging the EU to renew its effort to scrap the bi-annual clock change, ahead of this weekend’s time change when the clocks go forward by one hour.
As Ireland’s only Member of the European Parliament’s Working Group on the bi-annual Clock Change, Mr. Kelly has been campaigning for the best part of a decade to scrap Daylight Savings Time.
Speaking from the Parliament in Brussels this week, Kelly dismissed claims that the plan to end Daylight Savings Time could not proceed due to Brexit: “84 percent of EU citizens overwhelmingly supported the proposal to abolish the biannual clock change, in a 2018 EU-wide public consultation. In fact, 4.6 million citizens responded to the survey – showing how strongly our citizens feel about this outdated practice. This is an issue of great interest to Irish people too”, Kelly said.
The Fine Gael MEP pointed to studies which have shown that the disruption caused by the clock change has a detrimental impact on our health. It can lead to weakened immunity and sleeping patterns and in some cases, increased anxiety and depression. It can also impact tiredness in drivers, increasing the risk of accidents.
“Brexit and of course the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a pause in plans to tackle this issue, but we need to look forward and a renewed discussion is needed at EU level on this. I urge the Commission to reignite the debate with EU leaders in order to progress it and I will continue to lobby for that at EU level and in talks with the Commission.”
Kelly added that the UK is likely to follow the other 27 Member States in scrapping the bi-annual clock change should they proceed, in his view.