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Eurostar: Long-term Viability

Volume 697: debated on Thursday 24 June 2021

The Department fully expects that Eurostar will continue to be a highly successful, profitable company carrying record numbers of passengers once international travel recovers.

But the Minister knows that there has been a real threat to Eurostar’s survival, and British business leaders and the Chair of the Transport Committee have all called for our Government to be part of the solution. Eurostar is not just a vital service; it contributes to our net zero agenda. When we are in a climate crisis as well as a covid crisis, does the Minister think it is right that the Government should be giving billions in loans and guarantees to air travel and risk Eurostar going under?

The Government welcome the recent announcements from the company and its shareholders and lenders regarding a new financing package. We will continue to engage with Eurostar fully to understand the company’s position, but we would expect shareholders, including the majority shareholder SNCF—the French state-owned railway—to exhaust all options fully and play their full part.