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British Summer Time

Volume 512: debated on Monday 21 June 2010

16. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the introduction of single and double summer time. (3010)

I am delighted to confirm that, in line with my hon. Friend’s long campaign and, indeed, with the support of both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour party when it was in government, we are committed to examining this issue tremendously carefully, and I have already had conversations with my opposite numbers at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Today is the longest day, and no one needs to be a visitor to Stonehenge or, indeed, a great reader of the Bournemouth Echo to realise that this is a very popular move that has cross-party support. Does my hon. Friend agree that the tourism industry at least would like such a change? Indeed, it has been calling for it for a number of years.

I agree that the tourism industry would like such a change, but some people have very grave and important concerns that we would do well to listen to as well. Notably, people who live in the north of the UK, particularly in the northern parts of Scotland, are deeply worried about the issue, and we need to ensure that we take their valid concerns into account.