The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on British ministers to support HS1, the operator of the Eurostar rail line linking the United Kingdom and France, to ensure it will be able to accommodate the European Union’s incoming biometric entry-exit rules.
The EU is implementing a new Entry/Exit System (EES) to enhance border security. This system will require non-EU citizens to register their fingerprints and facial images when entering the Schengen Area (which includes France and many other European countries).
HS1 had warned last week that the biometric border screening rules may cause bottlenecks and compel it to reduce services. Khan wants to avoid that. “The success of the Eurostar is a vital part of London’s and the UK’s economic success,” he said. “As it stands these new post-Brexit checks will cause chaos.”
London is a major economic hub, and the Eurostar is a critical connection for tourism and business travel between the UK and mainland Europe. Any disruption to this service could be economically damaging to the city. The Eurostar makes London incredibly accessible from major European cities like Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. This encourages weekend getaways and short-term tourism, significantly boosting London’s visitor economy.
The EU’s Entry/Exit System (EES) has faced delays and is now scheduled for launch in late 2024, with a possible start date in early October. Originally planned for earlier dates, the implementation was pushed back due to technical challenges and requests from France to avoid disrupting the 2024 Paris Olympics.
February 12, 2024 – by the FindBiometrics Editorial Team