Modern daylight robbery, EU style

by Pseud O'Nym

I know that in and of itself its not exactly the most thoughtful of reasons in favour of Brexit, but that extra hour of glorious sunshine we’re having – well here in London anyway – but under EU proposals that would end.

Because in March 2019, the European Parliament approved a proposal that would put an end to twice-yearly clock changes altogether. If it’s passed by member states and becomes law, it means that we’ll all be changing our clocks for the final time in either March or October 2021. You can get more details of this here.

Of course the EU have tried to dress it all up as somehow having health benefits for citizens, but as is almost always the case when it announces proposed legislation that is claimed to have health benefits, the main beneficiaries are businesses. Shock.

There’s spurious guff about our circadian rhythms – you know, the 24-hour cycles that determine when we feel sleepy, hungry or need to go to the toilet – those one’s. Apparently when the clocks change, this knocks our circadian rhythms out of whack, making us feel more tired and distracted than usual. So our nothing whatsoever to do with the fear of employers hiring cheaper foreign labour to do you’re job and you being forced to work more hours, for less money, because now your being all competitive like. Not that at all.

But the real reason is economic. A study from US think tank the RAND Corporation – not exactly a bastion of of workers rights –  found that inadequate sleep costs the UK economy £50 billion a year in lost productivity and sickness. Oh how my heart bleeds.

And we already know from a study of US workers between 1983 and 2006 that the Mondays after clocks go forward employees tend to sleep 40 minutes less, which is associated with 5.7% more workplace injuries and 67.6% more lost work days. Or was it 8.6% more workplace injuries and 71.3% more lost work days. I may have made that bit up, although it may be true. Who knows? Who’s going to check anyway? But if it seems true, then it must be, right? Doesn’t it feel like it might be true?

Simplifying time also makes a lot of sense from a trade perspective., which is the abiding concern of the EU here. At the moment, the EU is currently spread across three time zones and depending on whether different states opt to stick to their summer or winter times, we could see the UK move into the same time zone as mainland Europe, which would make trade a lot easier.

As I wrote at the start that I know that in and of itself its not exactly the most thoughtful and considered of reasons in thinking that there might just be some wins in Brexit, but as daylight saving was first introduced because of the need the keep our factories as productive as possible during the First World War, it does seem a bit something for the EU to want to change it. I mean, I’m going to be lied to anyway, but I’d much rather be lied to by politicians without a foreign accent!