The U.K. on Tuesday reached a deal with the Netherlands, France and Belgium to allow direct Eurostar train services from Amsterdam to London later this year.
The new agreement means passport controls can be carried out in the Netherlands for services bound for the U.K. instead of passengers disembarking in Brussels for lengthy immigration and security screening as is currently the case.
Eurostar border controls are governed by a 1993 deal among London, Paris and Brussels. The new treaty agreed in the Belgian capital extends so-called juxtaposed border checks to the Netherlands. Officials from the U.K. Border Force will be stationed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to carry out checks.
The new connection was launched last year aimed at reducing air traffic on the busy route between the British and Dutch capitals.
“A Eurostar train roughly has twice as many seats as an average airplane on the Amsterdam-London route and CO2 emissions are significantly lower,” said Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch state secretary for infrastructure, after the new border deal was reached.
The U.K. government has pitched the link as a vital extension to its transport connections to mainland Europe. “This important treaty shows that while we have left the European Union, our links with Europe are stronger than ever,” said Home Secretary Priti Patel.