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Europe votes to end daylight savings clock changes

The European Parliament has approved plans to end seasonal daylight savings hour changes across the EU by 2021.

The vote by MEPs passed with 410 votes in favour, 192 against, and 51 abstentions.

Member states will now be allowed to make a decision on the hour that they will choose to keep all year round - whether “summer” or “winter” hours.

The final clock change across all participating member states choosing summer hours will be the last Sunday in March 2021, and for those choosing winter hours, it will be the last Sunday in October 2021.

Ahead of the vote, European citizens were given the chance to take part in an advisory online survey, asking them their view on the matter.

In France, there were 2,103,999 replies to the poll, with 83.71% of respondents saying they would prefer to abandon the clock-changing system, and stick to one hour all year round.

Currently, the clocks change twice a year: “forward” for summertime in March, and “back” for winter in October.

The system did not come into force across the whole of the EU until 1996, but had been in place in some form in France since the early 20th century (except for a temporary stoppage in 1945-76).

As for the baseline set time in France, it has changed throughout the 20th century - especially during the Second World War - sometimes aligning with Britain (GMT/UTC) and sometimes with Germany and the rest of Europe (GMT+2).

It is likely that the EU will encourage member states to choose time zones that align with their close neighbours, so as not to introduce a patchwork of different hours across the bloc.

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