UUP: split in Northern Ireland - Republic time zones is possible

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson
Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a measure to abolish the twice-yearly time change in 2021.

The proposal now goes to European Union member states for further negotiations. EU politicians voted 410-192 with 51 abstentions yesterday to scrap changing the clocks, which has been a rite of spring and autumn for decades.

But politicians have not yet decided on whether summer or winter time should be adopted as the standard since there are divisions within the EU as to which one should be chosen.

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson said that in light of current tensions over Brexit it is “absurd that the EU wastes its time fiddling around with the clocks”.

He added: “It is now conceivable that a post-Brexit UK will end up in a different time zone to the Republic of Ireland. Newry and Dundalk would be in different time zones, so would Keady and Castleblaney and also Belcoo and Blacklion! The whole idea is completely ludicrous; it just does not make sense.”

He added that he feared that “illogical time zones will appear all across Europe, disrupting both business and the public.”