Opposition MPs defeated a proposal by Emmanuel Macron’s Government to extend vaccine passports for travellers entering France, requiring them to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. It was one of the first bills put to parliament by the new minority Government, raising major doubts over the President’s ability to pass new laws. The Telegraph has more.
The vote saw the three main opposition parties – the far-Right National Rally (RN), the hard-Left La France Insoumise (LFI) and the Right-wing Republicains (LR) – unite to defeat the minority Government by 219 votes to 195.
The bill’s defeat was met with wild cheering and a standing ovation from opposition lawmakers, in footage that was widely circulated on social media.
The proposal marked the first big test of the Government’s ability to pass laws since losing control of the National Assembly last month. Mr. Macron failed to win a majority and could not form a coalition Government, severely curtailing his ability to push through domestic reform and meaning laws have to be passed on an ad hoc basis.
Francois Braun, the country’s Health Minister, lamented on Wednesday that an “alliance of circumstances” had led the National Assembly to reject part of a law intended to fight against the Covid pandemic.
Elisabeth Borne, the French Prime Minister, also condemned the blockage.
“The situation is serious. By joining together to vote against the measures to protect the French against Covid, LFI, LR and RN prevent any border control against the virus. After the disbelief on this vote, I will fight so that the spirit of responsibility wins in the Senate,” she wrote on Twitter.