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As lockdown restrictions ease and we start to consider travelling again, the future of cross-Channel operator Eurostar remains uncertain.
Eurostar is seeking financial support from the UK Government, citing higher access charges here as a reason.
The French Government has pledged to provide support for the operator, while £200 million has been provided by one of its shareholders, Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure.
Registered in the UK and supporting 3,000 jobs either with the business or in the supply chain, the company is, however, 55% owned by SNCF (French state rail), 40% by CDPQ/Hermes and 5% by SNCB (Belgian state railways).
So: Should the UK Government provide financial assistance to Eurostar?

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Eurostar awaits confirmation on financial support

Eurostar 374020 at St Pancras International on June 3. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Eurostar is still awaiting details from both the UK and French Governments regarding promised financial support, but told RAIL it remains encouraged by previous positive comments.

French Transport Minister Jean Baptiste-Djebbari claimed on January 21 that support was forthcoming (RAIL 924) and that there had been positive discussions with Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps.

The cross-Channel operator’s business has been severely affected by the pandemic, with one train a day currently running on each of its London-Paris/Amsterdam/Brussels routes, and patronage down by as much as 99%.

Shapps said on February 3 that the operator was not the UK Government’s company to rescue (RAIL 924), despite it being registered in Britain.

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  • Mark F - 22/02/2021 17:59

    So the Brexit mentality rules - “let the French sort it out” whilst our government focuses on global matters and ignores Europe - “so what does It matter if Eurostar fails? “ Words fail me

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    • K.allen - 22/02/2021 21:29

      Brexit has nothing to do with this at all! Uk stake sold 2015. France's problem!

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