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Dover Strait - A new study highlights the economic footprint of the Channel Tunnel in the UE

Published the 25 June 2018

A new study published by EY and Getlink (Eurotunnel) and presented to the European Commission analyses the value of trade travelling through the Channel Tunnel between the UK and EU countries. It follows another study published in October 2016, which focused on the economic benefits of the Channel Tunnel only for the United Kingdom.


  • The Tunnel facilitates trade between the European Union and the United Kingdom

The study shows that the Channel Tunnel facilitates 26% of all trades between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The estimated value of these trades are around 138 billion euros. Imports and exports are balanced. Germany, France and Belgium are the main EU countries trading with the UK via the Channel Tunnel. They account for 54% of all trade via the Channel Tunnel. Postal and courier freight accounts for the largest category of these trades, which represents 25% of EU exports to the UK (€24.6 billion). The UK also imports 20% of its food from the EU, which is the second largest category of UK imports from the European Union.

  • A positive impact for tourism in Europe

The Channel Tunnel plays a major role in the importance of the flow of people between the European Union and the United Kingdom. In 2017, 21 million people frequented the Channel Tunnel, which represents 57.000 people a day. Among them, 10.3 million people used the Eurotunnel shuttles. The Tunnel is essential for British tourism.  One third of the 12 million British tourists who visited France in 2016 used the Tunnel to cross the Channel. The study highlights that tourists and carriers prefer the Channel Tunnel for its speed (90% of them), its frequency (56%) and its flexibility (54%).


  • Understand the specific contribution of the Channel Tunnel for other countries with case studies

The study also highlights case studies and analyses for each EU country the specific contribution of the Channel Tunnel to their economy. For example, the tunnel supports the German automotive industry and maintains 800.000 jobs in this sector. It supports the rapid exchange of perishable goods from Spain to the United Kingdom. The Channel Tunnel also allows overnight deliveries and the importation of flowers for British customers from Belgium and the Netherlands. Finally, the Channel Tunnel facilitates the exportation of pharmaceutical and chemical products from Ireland to the rest of the EU, and it represents 45% of the value of Irish exports in 2016.


You can consult and download the study on Getlink’s website.


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