Western European Time

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Western European Time (WET, UTC±00:00) is a time zone covering parts of western and northwestern Europe. The following countries and regions use WET in winter months:

All the above countries except Iceland implement daylight saving time in summer (from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October each year), switching to Western European Summer Time (WEST, UTC+1), which is one hour ahead of WET. WEST is called British Summer Time in the UK and is officially known as Irish Standard Time in Ireland.

The nominal span of the time zone is 7.5°E to 7.5°W (0° ± 7.5°), but the WET zone does not include the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Gibraltar or Spain which use Central European Time (CET), although these are mostly (France) or completely (the rest) west of 7.5°E. Conversely, Iceland and eastern Greenland are included although both are west of 7.5°W. In September 2013, a Spanish parliamentary committee recommended switching to WET.[6][7][8]

Historical uses

A slight variation of this time zone, based until 1911 on the Paris Meridian, was used in:

Until the Second World War, France used WET. However, the German occupation switched France to German time, and it has remained in CET since then.[9] Two other occupied territories, Belgium and the Netherlands, did the same, and Spain also switched to CET in solidarity with Germany under the orders of General Franco.

In the United Kingdom, from 1940 to 1945 British Summer Time (BST=CET) was used in winters, and from 1941 to 1945 and again in 1947, British Double Summer Time (BDST=CEST) was used in summers. Between 18 February 1968 and 31 October 1971, BST was used all year round.

In Ireland, from 1940 to 1946 Irish Summer Time (IST=CET) was used all year round, with no 'double' summer time akin to that in the United Kingdom. Between 18 February 1968 and 31 October 1971, Irish Standard Time was used all year round.

In Portugal, CET was used in the mainland from 1966 to 1976 and from 1992 to 1996. The autonomous region of the Azores used WET from 1992 to 1993.[10][11][12]


Difference between legal time and local mean time in Europe during the winter
Colour Legal time vs local mean time
1 h ± 30 m behind
0 h ± 30 m
1 h ± 30 m ahead
2 h ± 30 m ahead

Regions located outside UTC longitudes using Western European Time

Located west of 7°30′ W ("physical" UTC-1)

Areas located within UTC longitudes using other time zones

These areas are located between 7°30′ W and 22°30′ W ("physical" UTC)

Areas using UTC+1: See Central European Time


  1. ^ "Time Zones of Portugal". Statoids. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Time Zones of Portugal". Statoids. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Lighter nights would keep youngsters fitter and safer, say doctors". Western Mail. Cardiff. 27 June 2005.
  4. ^ David Ennals "British Standard Times Bill [Lords",] Hansard, House of Commons Debate, 23 January 1968, vol 757 cc290-366, 290–92
  5. ^ "British Standard Time", Hansard (HC), 2 December 1970, vol 807 cc1331-422
  6. ^ "Spain considers time zone change to boost productivity". BBC News. 27 September 2013.
  7. ^ Hamilos, Paul (26 September 2013). "Adiós, siesta? Spain considers ending Franco's change to working hours". The Guardian (London).
  8. ^ Dewey, Caitlin (26 September 2013). "Spaniards are less productive, constantly tired because Spain is in the wrong time zone". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ Poulle, Yvonne (1999). "La France à l'heure allemande" (PDF). Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes. 157 (2): 493–502. doi:10.3406/bec.1999.450989. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  10. ^ Decreto Legislativo Regional n.º 29/92/A (23-12-1992) (in Portuguese), Diário da República (Diary of the Republic) – 1st Series - A, nr. 295, p. 5932-(2), 23 December 1992. Retrieved 11 January 2014
  11. ^ Decreto Legislativo Regional n.º 8/93/A (26-03-1993) (in Portuguese), Diário da República (Diary of the Republic) – 1st Series - A, nr. 72, p. 1496-(272), 23 March 1993. Retrieved 11 January 2014
  12. ^ Decreto Legislativo Regional n.º 9/93/A (15-07-1993) (in Portuguese), Diário da República (Diary of the Republic) – 1st Series - A, nr. 164, p. 3845–3846, 15 July 1993. Retrieved 11 January 2014
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