Working time talks fail again

Talks to resolve the thorny issue of the opt-out to the Working Time Directive have once again ground to a halt in Luxembourg.

Alistair Darling, the new trade and industry secretary, and other ministers met last Friday to try to break the deadlock over whether countries should let staff work more than 48 hours a week.

Despite 12 hours of discussions, EU members remain divided, with the UK leading an ever-shrinking group of opt-out supporters against a French-led group who want to see it scrapped.

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