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PARLIAMENT

France says Brexit delay ‘in nobody’s interest’

France said on Saturday that any new delay in Britain's departure from the EU was "in nobody's interest" after British MPs postponed a decision on a new Brexit deal.

France says Brexit delay 'in nobody's interest'
Backbench MP Oliver Letwin drew up the amendment that delayed a meaningful vote on leaving the European Union. Photo: Jessica Taylor / UK Parliament / AFP
“An agreement has been negotiated. It is now up to the British parliament to say whether it accepts or rejects it,” the French presidency said. Following the vote, President Emmanuel Macron spoke by phone to Prime
Minister Boris Johnson, the French presidency said.
   
The British Parliament voted by 322 votes to 306 in favour of an amendment effectively calling on Johnson to seek a Brexit extension to avoid a no-deal departure on October 31.
   
Macron had said on Thursday, when the deal was sealed between Johnson and the EU in Brussels, that he was “reasonably confident” it would be approved by British lawmakers.
   
“I think the October 31 date should be respected. I don't think that new deadlines should be given. We need to end these negotiations and get on with negotiating the future relationship,” he said on Friday.

Member comments

  1. It’s about time Macron realised that 27 other countries have a say in the EU not just France. It’s blatantly obvious that Macron fancies himself as the next EU president but of course all he lacks is political experience.

  2. I don’t understand this delay. The Brussels isn’t going to negotiate another deal – it’s over. So either we accept and leave with a bad deal or worse, leave without a deal – there is no ‘third way’ Either you fuckinig vote ‘yes’ or ‘No’. Common Briton – get on with it.
    I hope Mr Letwins constituents explain this to the noggin

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BREXIT

French teachers blame Brexit as schools cut trips to UK

The number of French pupils crossing the Channel on school trips - even daytrips - to the UK has plummeted post-Brexit, with teachers blaming the additional cost and paperwork involved.

French teachers blame Brexit as schools cut trips to UK

“I wanted to, but I gave up. It’s dead,” middle school teacher Murielle Bourré told local paper La Voix du Nord.

Schools in northern France used to do regular day-trips to the UK, since it’s just a short ferry-trip away, as well as longer visits, but many teachers say they have stopped this since Brexit.

School trip organisers in northern France have noticed a large drop-off in the number of school trips to the UK. “Before Covid, we used to organise about 40 trips a year. This year, it will be about 10,” said Edward Hisbergues, a school trip organiser from Maubeuge in the Nord département.

According to Hisbergues, Ireland is now the more straightforward option because it is an EU Member State, although trips there are more expensive.

Since October 1st, 2021, any European citizen wanting to visit the UK has needed to hold a passport when previously a national ID card was sufficient. 

Since the ID card can be used for travel anywhere within the EU, many French people don’t have passports, meaning that parents need to apply for a passport for their children in order for them to go on a school trip.

For French children aged up to 14, a passport costs €17. For children aged between 15 and 17, it costs €42. An adult passport costs €86. It is often enough for hard-pressed parents to think again, especially for day trips to cities in the south-east of England, such as London, Canterbury, or Brighton.

Meanwhile, children at French schools who hold non-EU passports require a tourist visa, at a further cost of £100 – it also requires a trip to the British Embassy in Paris.

One possible solution – a collective passport, allowing groups of French children to travel to the UK on one document – has reportedly been discussed in government, but plans have not yet seen the light of day.

Pre-Brexit, around 10,000 school trips a year came from France, representing a direct annual input into the UK economy of £100m, according to travel companies.

Detailed post-Brexit figures are not yet available – since travel was heavily restricted by the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 – but anecdotal evidence from trip organisers suggests that the number has fallen. 

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