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Government will not take lead in Eurostar rescue

by LLB staff reporter
3rd Feb 21 4:02 pm

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that the government will not take the lead in rescuing Eruostar as it is majority owned by France.

Shapps told MPs in the Commons that the government are “very keen for Eurostar to survive,” but insisted “it’s not our company,” as the French state rail company SNCF own 55%.

In November the cross-Channel rail operator said that they are “fighting for its survival” following a 95% reduction in passenger numbers amid the pandemic.

Shapps gave evidence to the Commons Transport Select Committee and said the UK will be “as helpful as possible.”

Shapps said, “We don’t own the shares, so, to state the obvious, it is the shareholders’ problem to resolve.

“We’ll be as helpful as possible but it’s not for us to take over their issue.

“You’ve got 55% ownership by the French state. It’s not just any old shareholder.”

He added, “The solution will be found. I don’t think there’s any world in which we cease to have that connection up and running in the future when indeed we’re all able to travel again.”

Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, told a parliamentary hearing in Paris last month that France will provide support to Eurostar “based on our involvement.”

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