Electronic Passport Control Systems Debate

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Department: Home Office

Electronic Passport Control Systems

Baroness Randerson Excerpts
Wednesday 7th June 2023

(1 year, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Murray of Blidworth Portrait Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con)
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My noble friend makes a valid point, and I will certainly take that back to the department.

Baroness Randerson Portrait Baroness Randerson (LD)
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My Lords, this was a short-lived issue but there is a long-term issue for our airports, ports and Eurostar around longer times trying to get through passport control since Brexit. This week saw the final Eurostar Disneyland Paris train from London. The service is no longer viable because of longer check-in times, and Ebbsfleet and Ashford International have in effect been mothballed as Eurostar stopping points. Does the Minister agree that, instead of a declining network, the Government should be encouraging Eurostar to increase its network, because that is the most environmentally friendly way of travelling to and from Europe? What are the Government doing to renegotiate passport control arrangements to make travel easier in the future?

Lord Murray of Blidworth Portrait Lord Murray of Blidworth (Con)
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International rail infrastructure is a very valuable part of our international travel systems. I am afraid it is beyond the ken of the Home Office to require Eurostar to run any particular route, but Border Force does facilitate the clearance of passports, as I have already said, in Brussels and Paris, and this works very effectively. As a result of the agreement with our French friends, they run checks in London, and those are sometimes the subject of delays. That can impact the running of trains; I entirely accept that.