EUROPE: Channel Tunnel concessionaire Eurotunnel has called on political leaders to clarify ‘as soon as possible’ the nature of the border relationship and controls that will exist following the UK’s expected departure from the EU, which is currently set to occur on March 29.
Eurotunnel’s call came immediately after a January 15 vote in the UK’s House of Commons which rejected the proposed withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU.
Eurotunnel said 26% of trade between the UK and the EU passes through the Channel Tunnel, ‘supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs’, and clear rules were needed to ‘allow businesses to continue to invest, to create jobs and to preserve the vital human, social and cultural exchanges that benefit both the UK and the EU’.
Eurotunnel said it had been preparing for all outcomes over the past two years, and had adapted its infrastructure so that traffic flow through the tunnel can be maintained even in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Eurotunnel said lorries using its Shuttle trains now pass through eight separate controls, compared to three types of check when the tunnel opened in 1994, and this had not prevented lorry traffic from increasing four-fold over the period.