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Tory MP suggests Scotland should be in a separate time zone

By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 1 At Business Questions yesterday, East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight put the following point:

"Why do we still have to go through the ridiculous ritual of putting our clocks back every autumn, thereby plunging the nation into darkness by mid-afternoon? Will the Leader of the House give an undertaking that the Government will not seek to talk out the private Member’s Bill on this subject that is due to come before the House shortly? If he does as I ask, I suspect the only opponents will be a handful of Scots. If that is the case, should they not be told, “You’ve got your own Parliament. If you don’t like it, go away and give yourselves your own time zone”?

The Leader of the Commons, SIr George Young, gave a very non-commital answer, merely saying that "when the current Bill’s turn comes to be debated, my ministerial colleague who will be responding for the Government will make the Government’s position clear."

According to the Economic and Social Research Council's Devolution website, it appears that time zones are in fact a reserved matter for the Westminster Parliament, so Mr Knight's suggestion that Holyrood could do its own thing could not come to pass.

The Private Member's Bill to which he refers is the Daylight Saving Bill, which is being championed by Castle Point MP, Rebecca Harris.

The Bill's Second Reading will be on 3rd December, at which time I imagine there will be lots more discussion of the issue...


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