The SNP has condemned proposals to change daylight savings time after Tory, LibDem and Labour MPs backed a Private Members Bill which seeks to leave Scotland with darker mornings.
The Bill, which now moves to Committee stage, would require the UK Government to conduct a cross-departmental analysis of the potential costs and benefits of advancing time by one hour for all, or part of, the year.
If this analysis found that a time change would benefit the UK as a whole, the Bill requires that the Government initiate a trial time change to determine the full implications.
Angus MacNeil, the MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, said:
“The progress of this Bill is literally a wake-up call to the prospect of dark mornings for everyone north of Manchester, and has been pushed through by MPs from the south with no regard to the impact these changes would have on the quality of life for people in the north.
“With the country in the grip of sub-zero temperatures it is not difficult to see the danger and difficulties that extending the morning hours of darkness would have for people, in particular school children, commuting on roads which remain icy prior to sunrise.
“Dealing with the snow and ice which has brought parts of the country to a standstill would be even more difficult with this time change in place.
“The evidence put forward supporting this change is dubious at best and the proponents of this Bill have ignored the sound reasons why this change was abandoned after being trialled in the 1970s, and more recently by other European neighbours who found that the shift had a damaging effect on safety, health, energy consumption and commerce.
“This change would be acutely felt in Scotland, raising real safety and quality of life concerns, and this is now a real test for the Tory Government and its claims of a respect agenda for Scotland. It is also outrageous that this step is being taken without any consultation with the devolved administrations.”
Earlier this year Tory MP Greg Knight caused anger when he called for Scots who oppose the move to ‘go back to Scotland’.
During a debate in the House of Commons Mr Knight shouted: “I suspect the only opponents will be a handful of Scots. If that is the case shouldn’t they be told; You’ve got your own parliament, if you don’t like it go away and give yourselves your own time zone”.