Sadiq Khan calls on ministers to prevent post-Brexit border checks set to cause Eurostar travel chaos

10 February 2024, 07:25

Sadiq Khan has called on the government not to ‘wash its hands’ of issues around post-Brexit red tape
Sadiq Khan has called on the government not to ‘wash its hands’ of issues around post-Brexit red tape. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called on ministers to prevent post-Brexit border checks causing Eurostar disruption.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Mayor of London said the government should not "wash its hands" of issues around post-Brexit red tape, as he warned of travel chaos for Eurostar passengers.

The EU's new checks will mean travellers from outside the bloc will have to register biometrics, including facial and fingerprint scans, at their first point of entry.

HS1, the owner and operator of the rail line and stations between London and the Channel tunnel, said earlier this week that the checks could lead to long delays on Eurostar trains, as well as a capping of services and passenger numbers.

Mr Khan has now called on ministers to provide support to HS1 and Eurostar in a bid to resolve any issues before they damage London's retail and leisure industries, particularly in the run up to Christmas.

Read more: 'It's politically motivated': Vice-President defends Joe Biden amid age concerns after report criticises his memory

Read more: Israeli PM Netanyahu orders evacuation of Rafah ahead of expected ground offensive 'to defeat last Hamas stronghold'

Eurostar
Eurostar. Picture: Alamy

Mr Khan said: "The success of the Eurostar is a vital part of London’s and the UK’s economic success – with St Pancras a gateway for huge numbers of tourists and businesspeople in the country.

"As it stands these new post-Brexit checks will cause chaos at St Pancras, with cuts to services and potentially huge queues facing passengers at peak times. This is directly a result of Brexit, and it’s not an issue ministers can now wash their hands of. 

"With London’s economy roaring back after the pandemic, this sends a terrible signal to both tourists and businesses from around the world.

"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."

John Dickie, Chief Executive at BusinessLDN, said: "London’s status as a global city depends on its ability to provide seamless international connectivity.

"Eurostar and HS1 provide a key link for business and leisure travellers, so the government must urgently find a solution that prevents these new checks causing lengthy delays in the run up to Christmas.

"We should be rolling out the red carpet for overseas visitors to the UK, rather than making them wait or be turned away at the front door due to a combination of red tape and inadequate resourcing."

Eurostar said in 2022 that peak capacity in London dropped by 30% when border checks were introduced after Brexit.

There was a a rise of 22 per cent on the previous 12 months in 2023, with 18.6m people using the service.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Businessman sues Apple after wife finds ‘deleted’ iPhone messages to prostitute

Businessman sues Apple after wife finds ‘deleted’ iPhone messages to prostitute

Olympic cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins is bankrupt, homeless and has "lost absolutely everything", according to his lawyer.

Olympic cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has 'lost absolutely everything' as star faces selling medals following bankruptcy

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer promises no capital gains tax on sales of homes as he dismisses tax hike claims

Home Secretary calls for 'urgent investigation' after shock footage emerges of police ramming escaped cow

Home Secretary calls for 'urgent investigation' after shock footage emerges of police ramming escaped cow

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza - as Palestinian death toll reaches '37,000'

Eight Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack since January

Prince Louis steals the show as he dances along to bagpipes at Trooping the Colour

Prince Louis steals the show as he dances along to bagpipes on Buckingham Palace balcony

Coventry's Radford Road, where the schoolboy was killed

Schoolboy killed in hit and run as police urgently look for driver

Police rammed the cow

Shock as police ram escaped cow on the street, as officers say it 'was hurt while being moved to safety'

Exclusive
c

Angela Rayner condemns 'intimidation' of Labour's Rosie Duffield after she cancels hustings amid 'trolling and spite'

Kate and the royals came out on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the flypast

Kate joins King Charles and other royals on Buckingham Palace balcony for RAF flypast after Trooping the Colour

Exclusive
Ben Habib has hit back at suggestions Nigel Farage could join the Conservative party

Reform deputy hits back at suggestion Nigel Farage could join Tories, after leader tells LBC he could lead merged party

Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower in Paris

IOC gives 14 Russians and 11 Belarusians neutral status for Paris Olympics

The ride got stuck upside down

Horrifying moment people get stuck upside down on theme park ride, as dozens have to be rescued

David Cameron and Nigel Farage

David Cameron says Nigel Farage is trying to destroy the Conservative Party through Reform UK

Kevin Campbell has died

Arsenal and Everton footballer Kevin Campbell dies aged 54

Kate, Charlotte, Louis, Charles and Camilla seen at the Trooping the Colour ceremony

Kate seen for first time in public since cancer diagnosis at Trooping the Colour, as King receives salute