London mayor warns new EU border checks will trigger Eurostar journey ‘chaos’ | EUROtoday
London mayor Sadiq Khan warned Saturday that Eurostar passengers going from Britain to the continent face “chaos” as soon as a brand new computerised border scheme proposed by the European Union takes impact.
All guests coming into the EU with visas or visa waivers should undergo the automated EU Entry/Exit System, which has been lengthy delayed and now scheduled resulting from begin in October.
Almost 19 million individuals used the Eurostar — which connects Britain with Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands — final yr as traveller numbers returned to their pre-pandemic ranges.
The system will report a non-EU nationwide’s particulars and biometric knowledge together with their date of entry and exit, preserving observe of overstays and refused entries.
“As it stands these new post-Brexit checks will cause chaos at St Pancras (the London station serving Eurostar passengers), with cuts to services and potentially huge queues facing passengers at peak times,” mentioned Khan.
“This is directly a result of Brexit, and it’s not an issue ministers can now wash their hands of,” added Khan, of the principle opposition Labour social gathering.
Britain formally left the EU in early 2020 following the 2016 Brexit referendum, with its residents shedding the suitable to freedom of motion within the bloc.
The automated system will change the stamping of passports for Britons travelling to France.
HS1, which operates the road between London and the Channel Tunnel to France, has mentioned that preparations are “severely inadequate” and will result in huge queues and the potential capping of passenger numbers.
It informed UK lawmakers not too long ago that registering a non-EU passenger on the border may add at the very least a further two minutes of journey time per individual.
“Ministers now need to offer HS1 and Eurostar all the support it needs to resolve these issues as a matter of urgency. Cuts to services and longer delays simply isn’t an option,” mentioned Khan.
Khan is a vocal critic of the ruling Conservatives’ dealing with of Brexit and has referred to as for the UK to forge a more in-depth relationship with the European Union.
A UK authorities spokesman mentioned officers are “working closely” with the EU to “minimise any impact” from the introduction of the brand new system.