cba
Posts: 4228
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 2:02 pm

Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 5:08 am

I noticed when taking the Eurostar to Paris last December that you had to clear security as well as passport control before boarding the train. However, when I took a Thalys train from Paris to Brussels and then Amsterdam, no security or passport control was required.

My question is, why is security and passport control required for the Eurostar but not for Thalys. Both are international trains going between EU countries. Is it because there's a higher risk of attack due to the long tunnel ride in the Eurostar?

That said, the Eurostar was fantastic, and I can't think of a better way to get between Paris and London. Can't wait for the British high speed link to open this summer!
 
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bwest
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RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 5:11 am

The UK is not part of the Schengen agreement, while France, Belgium and Holland are.



edit: more info on Schengen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement


I do miss those border controls. You used to get the feeling "now we're really traveling...", now, you hardly even notice you're in a different country

[Edited 2007-05-13 22:13:47]
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bwest
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RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 5:18 am

But I suppose the security checks will be there to prevent any potential terrorists of blowing up "Le tunnel"...
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cba
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RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 5:24 am

Ahh, I thought that Schengen became obsolete when the EU became more solidified, but Schengen was not what I thought it was, thanks for the link! This also explains why every time I've flown between England and France I've had to clear passport control etc, and when flying from France to Holland there was no immigration.

Any idea why the UK didn't join Schengen?
 
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bwest
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RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 5:32 am

The Brits have always been "cool lovers" of Europe and the EU, and steps towards greater unity have been met with opposition in the UK.

Also the UK still is the promised land for many illegal immigrants and quite a large number of them try to reach the country from France. With strict border controls at the ports, in England and France, and heavy fines for the companies on whose trucks or boats illegals are discovered, the UK manages to reduce the flow. So as long as the European countries located near the meditteranean and in eastern Europe don't make a greater effort of securing their borders, there's not a chance that the UK will join Schengen.

[Edited 2007-05-13 22:33:12]
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aloges
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RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 5:35 am

Quoting Cba (Reply 3):
Any idea why the UK didn't join Schengen?

I'd point squarely at their euroscepticism. Concerning some issues, they seem to like the idea of being as isolated from continental Europe as they are geographically. Ireland probably went along as they're so close to the UK. But I'm sure some British members can shed much more light on this.
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pelican
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:51 pm

RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 5:51 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 5):
Ireland probably went along as they're so close to the UK.

Sort of, Ireland had already a free travel agreement with the UK when the Schengen treaty was signed. So they had to choose either to join Schengen and dissolve the free travel area with Britain or to stay away from Schengen and maintain the agreement with the UK.

pelican
 
aloges
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RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 6:29 am

Quoting Pelican (Reply 6):
Sort of, Ireland had already a free travel agreement with the UK when the Schengen treaty was signed.

That's the sort of thing I was thinking of, maybe I should have said "closely linked" instead of just "close"...  tired 
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Arsenal@LHR
Posts: 7510
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 2:55 am

RE: Eurostar Passport Control

Mon May 14, 2007 8:58 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 5):
I'd point squarely at their euroscepticism. Concerning some issues, they seem to like the idea of being as isolated from continental Europe as they are geographically. Ireland probably went along as they're so close to the UK. But I'm sure some British members can shed much more light on this.

The reluctance to join the Schengen agreement has very little to do with euroscepticism but everything to do with having some control over our borders with Europe. It's fine having a free travel zone with lax border controls, buth with that comes a whole new ball game, that ball game is illegal immigration, drug trafficking, trafficking of prostitutes etc. The UK is currently experiencing record levels of immigration, and illegal immigration, mainly from Eastern Europe and North Africa. Having to go through passport control is the least we can do so we know who's coming into the country and why. And with every Tom, Dick and Harry from Eastern Europe joining the EU, and who are free to waltz into the UK with minimum fuss, it's even more important we have passport control.
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