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Empey rejects EU plan to put UK and Republic in different time zones

Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey has rejected a proposal by the European Commission, which, if adopted, could result in the UK and the Republic of Ireland finding themselves in different time zones.

Lord Empey said:

“When it was first suggested that the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland might find themselves in different time zones, I must confess I was tempted to check the date and see if it was April 1st again. 

“However, on Wednesday night, the House of Lords debated the European Commission’s proposal for ‘a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council discontinuing seasonal changes of time.’ 

“I am glad to report that the House of Lords was unanimous in its opposition to such an idea. In simple terms, this European proposal would mean that London and Dublin would be in different time zones, with Northern Ireland being out of step with one of them for six months of the year, as a result.

“As a Unionist, I must say that I cannot countenance the prospect of Northern Ireland ever having a different time zone to the rest of the United Kingdom regardless of who or what is advancing such an idea. 

“Indeed it would be bizarre for the Republic of Ireland to choose to be in a different time zone from the UK. If ever I saw a matter for which common sense needs to be applied, then this is surely it. Given all the uncertainties which exist at the minute with regard to Brexit, I would have thought we had more pressing issues to deal with than altering time zones.”  

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