On Friday the Daylight Saving Bill was given a Second Reading by 82 votes to 10.
The Bill does not provide for an immediate change to our system of setting the clocks. Firstly it requires every Government department to carry out an analysis of the potential costs and benefits of advancing the time by one hour for all or part of the year. Then an independent Commission has to be established to assess the analysis. Only if the Commission conclude that a change would be beneficial for all the four home nations could the Secretary of State order a three-year trial to take place. After the trial has been reviewed the Secretary of State can decide whether to make the trial permanent. If such a decision is taken the change could not be made permanent without the approval of both Houses of Parliament.
As I had received representations both for and again the idea of a change to our present system I decided to vote for the Bill to go to the next stage of the legislative process which is for it to be considered in detail by a Committee of a small number of MP’s who will examine the BIll ‘line by line’.
I had a number of concerns about the detail of the Bill and intended to make reference to these in my speech but I was not called. As I had indicated beforehand I voted against the motion to bring the debate to a premature end. When the closure motion was put it was passed by 123 votes to 8 ( I was one of the 8). So the Bill goes off to Committee. As the Government Minister explained during his speech as there are a number of problems with changing the legislation I expect that if the Bill ever does see the light of day again it will be in a very different form.