Eurotunnel gets go-ahead in duty-free row

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EUROTUNNEL'S attempt to stop cross-Channel ferries selling duty free goods moved a step forward yesterday when the High Court granted the company leave to seek a judicial review, writes Russell Hotten.

Mr Justice Tucker said he expressed no view at all about the merits of Eurotunnel's application but he said it was clearly a matter for urgent review.

The company is challenging a European Union decision to extend duty-free sales on ships and aircraft until 1999. Eurotunnel says the EU ruling would deprive it of pounds 170m in revenue between now and 1999.

A hearing is due to be held in November, but the matter is eventually expected to be referred to the European Court of Justice, which could take a further two years to make a decision.