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For 2003-2007 inclusive, the summer-time periods begin and end respectively on the following dates at 1.00am Greenwich Mean Time:

In 2003: the Sundays of 30 March and 26 October
In 2004: the Sundays of 28 March and 31 October
In 2005: the Sundays of 27 March and 30 October
In 2006: the Sundays of 26 March and 29 October
In 2007: the Sundays of 25 March and 28 October

Since 1981 EC Directives have prescribed the start and end dates of summer time in all Member States.  There have to date been eight Directives which have set summer-time arrangements for fixed periods. The Summer Time Act 1972 sets the appropriate dates in the UK and summer-time orders have been made as necessary to implement the European Directives. The 9th EC Directive prescribes the start and end dates of summer time as the last Sundays in March and October respectively. These dates are in line with those already operating in the United Kingdom. The 9th Directive provides that these start and end dates should apply indefinitely.

Implementation of the 9th Directive in the UK is through an Order in Council under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972, which amended the relevant sections of the Summer Time Act 1972. The Order came into force on 11 March 2002. A Regulatory Impact Assessment and Transposition Note were produced in conjunction with the laying of the Order.

Proposals have been made from time to time about changing the UK's time zone to Central European Time. However, any changes would need to have full regard to the effect on business and transport links with other countries, on health and safety issues such as road traffic accidents, and on social and community life. Although there could be some advantages, adoption of Central European Time in the UK would result in later sunrise in winter, affecting particularly outdoor workers and people in the north of England and Scotland. There are no current plans to change the UKs time zone.


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Last updated 20 March 2003