Scots should control own time zone, says MP

A Tory MP has called for Scots to be given powers to change the timezone. Picture: TSPL
A Tory MP has called for Scots to be given powers to change the timezone. Picture: TSPL
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SCOTLAND should be devolved powers to set its own time zone, a former minister has said.

Conservative Sir Greg Knight claimed a “handful of Scots” would be likely to oppose changes that would prevent the whole of the UK being plunged into darkness by mid-afternoon during winter.

The East Yorkshire MP wants the clocks to run two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time during the summer - known as double summertime - and one hour ahead during winter.

In 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron suggested he was ready to consider the proposal.

With talks ongoing over more powers for the Scottish Parliament following the No vote in the independence referendum, Sir Greg suggested Scots should be handed the responsibility over setting their time zone.

People will need to put their clocks back overnight Saturday to Sunday.

Sir Greg told Commons Leader William Hague: “Can we have a debate on making better use of natural resources?

“Are you are aware that within a few days we will be undertaking the flawed ritual of putting our clocks back thereby plunging the nation into darkness by mid-afternoon?

“Can we examine the benefits of having summer time in winter and double summer time in summer?

“And if as I suspect the only objectors are a handful of Scots, can’t we say to them - you want more powers for your own Parliament, we’ll give you your own powers to set your own time zone.”

Mr Hague replied: “The House has debated this issue over the last few years.

“I’m not sure the only objectors are Scots since in North Yorkshire we would be plunged into darkness quite early in the morning.

“We maybe have different personal views on this matter around the House but of course it’s open to you, who feels very strongly about this, to pursue it.

“There have been private member’s bills on this issue in the past, I’ve no doubt there will be in the future.”

Supporters claim double summertime could add millions to Britain’s earnings from tourism but opponents say the darker mornings would make life more difficult for groups including early-rising farmers.

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