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Ministers back plan to put clocks forward all year

Plans for Britain to move on to "perpetual summer time" have been given tentative backing by the Government. Under the proposal, Greenwich Mean Time would be effectively abolished and clocks in the UK would go forward by one hour all year round. Ministers are considering supporting a Private Member's Bill which would pave the way for moving the country in line with Central European Time (CET) for a trial period of three years.

But the plan could still be scuppered as it would get the go-ahead only if Scotland and the other devolved administrations agree to go along with it. Last night, the SNP signalled that they would oppose the move.

Moving to CET would mean lighter winter evenings, which supporters claim would cut road deaths, boost tourism and reduce energy use. But northern parts of England and Scotland would face winter mornings that are still dark at 9am. Critics claim this would increase the dangers for many workers, particularly farmers, as well as families on the school run.

During a visit to Australia, Mr Cameron said: "I've always been interested in this debate as someone who likes playing sport and all the rest of it. But I've always felt you could only do this as a United Kingdom and there have always been very strong arguments made in Scotland.

The Daylight Saving Bill, tabled by Rebecca Harris, Conservative MP for Castle Point in Essex, calls for a review of potential costs and benefits of a move to CET. It would need further legislation before any trial was launched.