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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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Shapps: Eurostar “not our company to rescue"

Eurostar 374009 at Paris Gare Du Nord on June 3. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Eurostar is not the UK Government’s company to rescue, Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps told Transport Select Committee MPs today (February 3).

Responding to a question about the beleaguered cross-Channel operator, during an evidence session on Responsibilities of the Secretary of State, Shapps declared: “Eurostar is a majority French state-owned company. We are obviously interested and concerned, particularly about jobs.

“Primarily it is French-led. We’ll be as helpful as we can, but it is a French company. We are very, very keen for Eurostar to service, but it has SNCF behind it.”

Asked if the UK Government was prepared to let Eurostar ‘go to the wall’, Shapps said: “The physical nature of the Tunnel wouldn’t disappear, or the infrastructure, so there are well-established routes for these things. So I can repeat what I said - it’s not our company to rescue.”

  • For the latest on Eurostar, read RAIL 924, published on February 10, and available digitally from February 6.

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  • Tony Porch - 05/02/2021 12:39

    Once again this terrible Tory government has only one thing on its mind and that's to eradicate all our connections to the EU. Rather foolish and backward step and will undermine their so called "global Britain" agenda!

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