France is preparing for the UK’s final exit from the European Union on January 1. Border police and customs will be ready to ensure the transit of travelers and goods to the United Kingdom when it leaves the common market, assured the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, and the Minister Delegate in charge. of Public Accounts, Olivier Dussopt, Thursday 10 December.
“We will obviously check until the last hour of the last day that our preparations are there, assured Clément Beaune Thursday, after a visit to the Eurostar cross-Channel high-speed train terminal at Gare du Nord in Paris. But it is important to check in the ports, in the stations, in the airports that we are ready for this change which will take place in any case on January 1st next “, did he declare.
“Whatever happens, on January 1 we will be in a different world whether there is an agreement or there is no agreement with the UK.”Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs
during a visit to the Gare du Nord in Paris
“From 1 January (…) Great Britain becomes a third country”, Olivier Dussopt added. “It means checks, air and border police checks (…), it also means a change in the conditions for the passage of goods.” Thus, the Gare du Nord “will review all its signage on the evening of December 31 to welcome its passengers and guide them in good conditions”, specified the minister.
The move to the UK is not expected to change too much for EU citizens, who will be able to continue to use Parafe automatic passport control systems. There will then be random customs checks, before boarding or during the journey.
A decree should, by the end of the year, allow British citizens to continue to use Parafe, noted Commissioner General Pierre-Henri Digeon, head of the National Railway Police Service. Their passport will be stamped when leaving the Schengen area, as when entering in the other direction, he added. British authorities, on the other hand, should not stamp European passports.
Europeans will be able to travel to the United Kingdom for three months without formalities. The British have not yet decided whether they will require a visa for a longer period, noted Clément Beaune. In any case, they will have to have a passport from October 1, 2021. The identity card will no longer be sufficient to cross the Channel.
“Our device is ready, and it is (…) calibrated to cope with normal traffic”, noted Olivier Dussopt, recalling in particular that the State had “recruited 600 additional customs officers to deal with Brexit”. The low level of traffic due to the Covid-19 pandemic allows a kind of break-in while waiting for better days, recognized the ministers.