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Eurostar: London mayor fears ‘chaos’ at St Pancras station due to new EU controls

The coming into force of a new system of controls on entry and exit from the European Union (EU) is worrying the mayor of London. Sadiq Khan fears the “chaos” predicted at St Pancras station, where the Eurostar arrives, will send a “terrible message” to the world, he said in a press release.

From the end of 2024, third-country nationals entering the European Union will be subject to an automated Entry/Exit System (EES). This centralized database will include photographs of the traveler’s face and fingerprints.

“As things stand, these new post-Brexit controls will cause chaos at St Pancras, with reduced services and potentially huge queues for passengers at peak times,” said the Labor Party mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in a statement.

Last month, a British Parliament committee warned of significant delays – up to 14 hours, they said – that EES could cause at borders. And, in particular, at London St Pancras Station, where Eurostar trains arrive, the capital’s most important rail link.

Eurostar worries

Sadiq Khan is calling on the government not to “wash its hands” of this “direct consequence of Brexit”, which will send a “terrible message to tourists and businesses around the world” while the London economy is barely recovering from the fallout from Brexit. COVID-19 pandemic.

Train operator Eurostar has also expressed their concerns, as has High Speed ​​1 (HS1), the company that operates the train line connecting London to the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. Eurostar felt that the new system was designed more for airports than for train terminals.

London City Hall says St Pancras station will only have 24 EES control desks allocated by the French government, “while modeling suggests around 50 will be needed at peak times.”

“Ministers must now give HS1 and Eurostar all the support they need to urgently address these issues. Service cuts and longer delays are simply not possible,” insisted Sadiq Khan.

Source: Le Parisien

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