In a rare moment of bipartisan political solidarity, France’s populist right-wing party and populist left-wing party banded together in the National Assembly to defeat a Covid-19 vaccine passport introduced by President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
The move was the first serious blow to Macron’s hold on the government after losing majority status in June’s parliamentary elections.
A video of the vote shows members of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally celebrating the victory with MPs from Jean-Luc Melenchon’s La France Insoumise. The centre-right Republicans also joined them.
“Clear collusion between the extremes, each one applauding the other,” tweeted MP Maud Bregeon about the incident.
The proposed law would have allowed the government to reintroduce a health pass for travel in and out of France, requiring anyone over the age of 12 to show they either have a Covid vaccine, a negative PCR test or proof of immunity.
215 MPs voted to remove a key piece of the legislation which would have allowed the health pass to return.
Instead, the bill was modified only to allow the government to continue to collect health data on Covid tests and not to re-implement a vaccine passport.
The bill has now been passed to the French Senate for further debate.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has promised to have the bill pass in the Senate in its original form.
“The situation is serious. By joining together to vote against the measures to protect the French against Covid LFI, the LR and the 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,” wrote Borne.