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UK Trade Policy Observatory cited in Select Committee report on discontinuing seasonal time changes

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A new report from the House of Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee draws on evidence submitted by the UK Trade Policy Observatory.

The report, which examines the implications for the UK of the European Commission’s proposal to end seasonal clock changes in the EU, draws on UKTPO evidence submitted by Dr Mattia Di Ubaldo in four different places.

The report explores the two scenarios that may arise for the UK should the EU abolish seasonal clock changes: (i) retaining seasonal clock changes in the UK and facing varying time differences with its European neighbours; or (ii) aligning with the EU’s decision and adopting summer or winter-time on a permanent basis.

In its evidence to the Committee, the UKTPO outlined the trade implications of retaining clock changes in the UK if the EU abolishes them. It argued that the manufacturing sector was likely to be hit the hardest by varying time differences, through “higher communication costs and non-overlapping working hours”, with services that “require real time interaction for delivery” also affected.

If seasonal clock changes were to be abolished in the UK, the UKTPO suggested that permanent summer-time would be preferable from a trade perspective, as it would minimise time differences between the UK and EU countries.

In its conclusions and recommendations, the report urged the Government to carry out further research and develop an evidence-based approach to the broader question of whether the UK should retain seasonal changes of time. The Government’s response to the inquiry is yet to be published.

By: George Meredith
Last updated: Tuesday, 18 February 2020

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