London mayor acts to avert Eurostar chaos amid EU checks
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the British government to act to prevent potential disruptions on the Eurostar rail service to France, anticipating challenges as the European Union plans to implement biometric border controls later this year.
The new EU system will require non-EU travelers, including those from post-Brexit Britain, to undergo biometric registration, including facial and fingerprint scans, upon their first entry into the bloc.
HS1, the entity managing the railway and stations from London to the Channel Tunnel, earlier warned that these measures could significantly delay Eurostar trains, necessitating a reduction in services and passenger limits.
Khan emphasized the need for government support for HS1 and Eurostar to address these concerns promptly. He highlighted the potential negative impact of such delays on London's retail and leisure sectors, especially critical during the lead-up to the Christmas season.
"The Eurostar's smooth operation is crucial to the economic prosperity of London and the UK," Khan stated. "The forthcoming post-Brexit checks threaten to create significant disruption." Eurostar, which connects London with Paris, Brussels, and other European capitals, reported a 30% drop in London's peak capacity following the introduction of post-Brexit border checks in 2022.