Letter: Time Greenwich went Continental?

Click to follow
Sir: Typically, for this most self- doubting of nations, the question of Britain abandoning Greenwich Mean Time in favour of an artificial Central European Time is being asked backwards. An international treaty of 1884 fixed Greenwich as the zero line of longitude and the centre of the defining time zone, which stretches for 7.5 degrees either side of the meridian.

Of the 12 capital cities of the European Community, seven are inside these limits and an eighth (Lisbon), although outside, already uses GMT anyway. Thus, two-thirds of the states of the EC are natural Greenwich Mean Timers.

If the status quo must be fiddled with (and I have yet to come across a convincing reason why it should), then it would be far more logical for the Continent to come into line with Britain and Ireland. Perhaps then the peoples of Europe would be as proud of this happy accident of geography as the people of Britain most certainly are.

Yours faithfully,