Is night falling on Daylight Saving Bill?


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The forces of darkness (pun intended) seem to be massing against Rebecca Harris's Daylight Saving Bill (see earlier posting).

Earlier this week I thought it might be able to clear the Commons; now I think its prospects depend on 100 MPs being prepared to force a vote. There are now 11 pages of amendments to be put at Friday's report stage, and, ominously, many of them bear the name of the arch-terminator of private members' bills, the Conservative Christopher Chope.

Then there's Jacob Rees-Mogg's proposal for an independent Somerset time zone, and Philip Davies' proposal to call it the "Berlin Time" Bill.

And I gather most SNP MPs will be around tomorrow to put their concerns about the implications for Scotland. The bill's best prospect of getting through the Commons and being sent on to the Lords would be if the chair allowed a closure motion - which is unlikely to happen much before 1pm.

That in turn threatens the widely-supported Live Music Bill - although it is possible to rush a bill through its remaining stages in remarkably little time, if no-one objects. And it seems to spell certain doom for Chris Chope's Local Government (Review of Decisions) Bill - although given that he's the one putting down amendments on Daylight Saving, I assume he's prepared to accept that as collateral damage. Perhaps the government has cooled over his modest proposal to provide a way of overturning such things as over-cautious health and safety rulings.

So watch out for a day of elaborate tactical games as this round of private members' bills draws to a close.

Mark D'Arcy, Parliamentary correspondent Article written by Mark D'Arcy Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

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  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    The problem with this bill was that it intended originally to take note of the views of the regions and not to proceed if there was no consensus. In the last week it began to look as though the bills supporters and Mr Ed Davy(originally against) were preparing to ignore the regions,hence the parliamentary games that the Lighter Later people are now whining about.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    I agree that if people want longer evenings then they should just start work earlier.

    In this increasingly technical age we should resist moves that further alienate us from nature's cycles. Noon is understood, at a primeval level, as the time when the sun is highest in the sky (give or take a few minutes to allow for longitude). Moving to BST or double BST takes us away from that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Why should we change the time standard? Could we not just change the times we work, if we need to conform to CET? I always used to work 8-4 when I worked in an office - because it was much easier to get to and from work at those times, not for any need to conform to CET - and it would also serve to lower congestion by staggering the working day.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Calling it "double summer time" is just a euphimism for Central European Time but they can't even be honest about it. It's spun in terms of energy saving and safety, nonsense!

    #6 is absolutely correct. Given the range of latitude the UK spans AND the fact that most of the country is to the west of the prime meridian the UK should really be on GMT all year round.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    I think they should put private members bills under the auspices of the backbench business committee, or move them to a 3 hour slot on a Wednesday evening, with a guaranteed vote at the end.


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