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A clock is held next to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 26 March 2019. MEPs have agreed to abolish Daylight Saving by 2021.
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A clock is held next to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 26 March 2019. MEPs have agreed to abolish Daylight Saving by 2021.

Daylight Saving to be abolished by 2021

Earlier today, European Parliament came to an agreement during a meeting to abolish the bi-annual changing of the clocks by 2021, leaving it up to members to decide whether they want to remain on "summer time" or "winter time".

After the proposal to abolish the tradition was put forward by the Transport and Tourism, the majority of MEPs opted in favour of the motion. The EU countries now have until April 1st 2020 to decide which time they'd like to remain in. For the countries that opt to remain on "summer time", will change their clocks for the last time on the last Sunday of March 2021, while countries deciding to stay on "winter time" will change their clocks for the final time on the last Sunday of October 2021.

The tradition of changing the clocks began in Germany in 1916 during World War One and was used on and off by most European countries up until 1996 when it was then standardised by the EU. The reason for the change comes from a study conducted by doctors showing that it can pose as a health hazard, with an increased risk of sleep disorders, depression, fluctuations in heart rate and digestive problems. People with organ disorders or chronic sleep disorders are particularly affected by the bi-annual change.

The motion was originally put forward last year to stop Daylight Saving in 2019 but European politicians said that more time was required. In the meeting that took place today, politicians voted 410-192 in favour of the motion, while 51 abstained.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune explained why she feels abolishing the change is the right decision: "I am very much in favour of abolishing the seasonal time changes. It is high time to address this now. Its introduction did not lead to the expected benefits, such as energy savings. Instead, there are serious warnings from doctors about health hazards caused by the bi-annual time change."