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EU law may leave night duty doctors stranded on the shore

February 16th, 1999

Ferries will no longer be able to take doctors to two Scottish islands to deal with emergencies in the middle of the night because of European Union working time laws.
Financial Times, 16 February 1999, p7)

Absolutely untrue. The Working Time Directive and the UK implementing legislation exclude several sectors of activity, among them sea transport. Therefore, they have no impact whatsoever on ferry doctors. Future work time arrangements for seafarers are being negotiated with ship owners and seamen, including ferry company representatives. Whatever reasons certain ferry operators might have had for altering their services, it is wrong to blame the EU Working Time Directive.

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