Direct high-speed train services from Amsterdam to London will be possible later this year, after new agreements were signed.

For these services to operate, existing agreements between the UK, France and Belgium signed in 1993 have been modified to include the Netherlands.

Representatives from all four countries signed the treaties at a ceremony in Brussels.

The Home Office-led treaty concerning frontier control arrangements extends the existing model of “juxtaposed border checks” to the Netherlands; whereby passengers are checked, prior to departure, successively by border officials from the departure and arrival countries.

This means UK Border Force officials will be stationed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam and able to carry out checks before boarding, as they already do in France and Belgium.

It also allows for further cooperation between the police forces of the four countries involved in the fight against cross-border crime.

The quadripartite security arrangement will give responsibility for security to the government of the country in which the service is operating from.

The Dutch authorities will become responsible for the security of Dutch stations operating UK bound services, and for train security, such as the screening of passengers.

These new arrangements will enable direct services between the Netherlands and the UK to start operating later this year, without the need to change trains at Brussels for immigration and security checks – making it easier for passengers to carry on their journey.

Eurostar called the move a “great milestone”.

“This will allow us to progress our plans and we look forward to updating when we are able to put tickets on sale and confirm a start date,” said a spokesman.

The train operator had hoped to start services direct in both directions in April, but the plans were delayed the Covid-19 outbreak.