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No end in sight to Eurostar crisis

THE future of Eurostar is still uncertain, after the international operator was brought close to failure by Covid-related restrictions on international travel. The timetable has been cut to just one daily train each way between London, Brussels and Amsterdam, and one between London and Paris.

The UK no longer has a stake in Eurostar, but although ministers in London have acknowledged that the service is important, there has been no support from British taxpayers so far.

In answer to a Commons question, rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: ‘The Department has held initial but constructive discussions with the French government to explore possible options regarding Eurostar’s financial situation and we will continue to engage very closely with them and Eurostar over the coming months. However, these talks are at an early stage and there is no agreement in place.

We will also work closely with the wider international rail sector as we look to the restart and recovery of international travel, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.’

Mr Heaton-Harris added that more travel would be allowed ‘when the time is right, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants’.

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