Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has warned of the detrimental effects of the European Union (EU) ending the daylight-saving practice due to its impact on children’s safety and on the large agricultural community in Perth and Kinross.
The politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, also took aim at the SNP Scottish Government for their silence on the matter, after they previously decried the UK Government for similar proposals.
Members of the EU agreed to end the one-hour clocks change earlier this week, resulting in member states being forced to end the practice by 2021 and choose either permanent summer or winter time.
Research carried out by the Scottish Conservatives has revealed the SNP previously warned children’s lives in Scotland would be put at risk as a result of ending daylight-saving when Westminster initially mooted the idea.
In 2005, then education spokeswoman Fiona Hyslop had said that darker mornings would have “adverse effects” on children's safety and on the environment.
Mr Fraser believes ending the daylight-saving practice is a negative move by the EU and feels it will have a major impact in Perth and Kinross.
Commenting, he said: “This move will mean that thousands of school children will be affected in Perth and Kinross. It poses real dangers if children are walking to school in the dark in the morning.
“It will also affect the sizeable farming community in Perth and Kinross and I’m sure will not prove popular with them. Many farmers begin work early but won’t relish the prospect of doing so in the dark.”
He continued: “This row exposes the SNP’s hypocrisy and grievance agenda when it comes to the UK and EU.
“When this was proposed by the UK Government, the nationalists were falling over themselves to criticise, even warning that children’s safety would be put at risk. However, when the EU decides to bring it in, there’s not a peep from the SNP.
“The SNP reminds us on a weekly basis that it would want an independent Scotland to re-join the EU at the earliest opportunity.
“If that were the case, Scotland would not only lose the ability to change the clocks – as we will do this weekend – but would risk being in a different timezone to the rest of the UK.”