Latest: European Parliament approves proposal to end bi-annual clock change

Update 11.58am: Changing the clocks every summer and winter could soon be a thing of the past after the European Parliament today voted in favour of retaining the same time all-year round.

MEPs say it now puts the pressure firmly on the European Commission - which has in the past been reluctant to change the system - to implement their decision.

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly, who has been campaigning for the change, said: "I'm very pleased that after years of discussions at Committee level in the European Parliament, of which I'm the only Irish member, that out proposal was debated and voted on today in Parliament, and that Parliament accepted our proposal to ask the European Commission to come forward with a recommendation that we would end the bi-annual clock change."

Update 11.58am: European Parliament to vote on abolishing Daylight Saving Time

The European Parliament will today vote on whether or not to abolish the current system of putting clocks back in winter and forward in spring.

Many believe the clock change negatively impacts on people's mental and physical health.

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly has been pushing to end the bi-annual clock change.

"We think that there's no need to change the clocks," he said.

"It came in during World War One, it was supposed to be for energy savings - the indications are that there are very few energy savings, if any - and there are an awful lot of disadvantages to both human beings and animals that make it outdated at this point.

"We're working to try and end it."

The European Parliament's Research Service published a study on EU summer-time arrangements last October, which found that the health implications of Daylight Saving Time are "more severe" than previously thought.

"Beyond considerations on the effects, repeal of the Summer Time Directive would not automatically abolish summer time across the EU," the report stated.

"It would just end EU-wide harmonisation and bring the issue of summer time back into the competence of the member states.

"Member states would be free to decide about their individual time regimes: they might opt to retain summer time (at the current or a modified DST schedule) or to end summer time.

"Abolishing summer time would in the first place result in year-round standard time ('winter time'), which by definition entails darker evenings in spring and summer.

"To obtain year-round summer time member states would technically need to change time zone.

"However, uncoordinated national time arrangements would likely have negative repercussions on the internal market."

- Digital desk

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