London and EU Disagree on Channel Tunnel

Solving a number of problems related to the functioning of the Eurotunnel under the English Channel in the post-Brexit conditions will be a serious test for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, writes The Guardian on Thursday.

The publication notes that the European Union would like to obtain consent from London for the legal role in this matter to be assigned to the Court of Justice of the European Union. To this end, the European Commission has asked the European Council and the European Parliament to give France formal authority to urgently negotiate a new bilateral agreement with the UK, so that London authorizes the EU Court of Justice to settle future disputes between the two countries, since after Brexit, the Union’s law will no longer apply to one of the shores of the strait.

« This means that train drivers will need to have dual driving qualifications on both the French side and the British side of the tunnel. This will also affect the operational capabilities of the tunnel, with potential future differences in signaling, voltage, system radio communications, ventilation, hydraulics. It will be like right and left-hand traffic on the same road at the same time « , – The Guardian quotes an interlocutor, who described the possible development of the situation if a common solution is not found.

London does not accept the EU’s proposals and believes that one of the possible solutions could be the establishment of a special international arbitration court to resolve differences. At the same time, the newspaper notes, the relevant experience already exists – in 2007 the then Channel Tunnel Group received compensation in the amount of 35 million pounds in a lawsuit against two governments due to losses associated with increased security costs and damage caused by the increased penetration migrants housed in a refugee camp near the French city of Calais, next to which the tunnel goes under the English Channel.

The UK Department of Transport, meanwhile, says it supports measures to ensure the operation of critical systems through the tunnel. At the same time, the department notes: « It is absolutely clear to us that we will defend our national interests when concluding any bilateral agreements, and they (the other side) will fully and fully respect the status of Great Britain as an independent, sovereign country. »


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