21:46 GMT24 February 2021
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    People in Northern Ireland may have to literally travel in time to reach the rest of the UK after Brexit, thanks to upcoming EU changes.

    Northern Ireland, a part of the UK, may find itself in a different time zone than the rest of theUK, if the European Union decides to proceed with the idea of abolishing daylight savings time.

    According to current Brexit negotiations, Northern Ireland is expected to keep up with EU single market rules in order to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland — which also includes regulation on time standards, reports the Daily Express.

    As Brussels mulls abolishing daylight savings time and switching to permanent summer time, Northern Ireland would only keep up with the rest of the UK for seven months between March and October despite both entities being part of the same state and same Greenwich time zone.

    Some 4.6 million Europeans took part in a continent-wide survey on whether the EU should abandon the practice of setting clocks forward or back depending on the time of the year. However, according to Express, some three million respondents were from Germany, while only 41,000 were from France and 13,000 from the UK.

    The initiative has sparked vocal criticism from hard-line Brexit supporters among UK MPs, who insist that Britain will remain a whole sovereign state, complete with Northern Ireland, while the Republic of Ireland and the rest of EU can do whatever they like.

    "It's another reason why Theresa May should be putting it up to the EU that there will be no backstop. The Irish government can put the clocks back, or forward, whatever they like. That's up to them," says DUPs' Sammy Wilson, an East Antrim member of the UK Parliamentary committee on Brexit. "But we in Northern Ireland will have the same time zone, the same rules, the same customs arrangements and same regulations as the rest of the UK. That's the bottom line for us."

    "It's just further proof, as if it were needed, that Brussels is bonkers. It wouldn't just be a time border, it would be a ticking time bomb under the proposed backstop arrangements which are contested," Wilson added, referring to a set of proposals that effectively seek to de facto keep Northern Ireland within the framework of the EU's free market rules in case a Brexit deal fails on some other account.


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