Macron facing revolt over French law 'punishing UK for Brexit' in huge boost for British second home owners


Macron faces revolt over the amendment

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 14/11/2023

- 12:19

It follows complaints from British second home owners in the Alps region

A controversial French law that impacts British second homeowners could be relaxed.

Visa rules mean that British second homeowners can only stay in France for a maximum of 90 days out of 180.

However, the senate, France’s second parliament chamber, has voted through an amendment to the country’s new Immigration Law.

The amendment gives British second home owners the automatic right to a long-stay visa.

A picturesque Alps scene

The Savoie region has many British second homeowners

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French politicians said they have received complaints from British second home owners, with some saying they feel they have been punished by Brexit.

Martine Berthet, who represents the Savoie area in the Alps, tabled the notion in the Senate.

She said: “The Britons I have spoken to say that the current system is long-winded, difficult and full of pitfalls.

"Ties are warming between France and the UK following the royal visit – and don’t forget, King Charles reserved his only official speech for the French Senate. The British are privileged partners of France. History has shown this to be the case.”


King Charles III met President Emmanuel Macron earlier this year


President Emmanuel Macron’s government, which does not command an absolute majority in parliament, said it will not back the amendment.

The amendment is set to be debated next month in the National Assembly before it is passed in the bill.

Another amendment which would have offered similar rights to all foreigners with second homes was rejected by the senate.

Macron’s government argues that current legislation already makes it possible for British second home owners to stay longer than 90 days out of 180.

​However, wait times for visas have spiralled since Brexit, with visa centres 'crumbling under the weight' according to law experts

Partner at law firm Russell Cooke Nicole Gallop Mildon said: “Before Brexit, they didn’t deal with Brits at scale. Now, they do and they are basically crumbling under the weight.”

The senate is currently run by France’s conservative party Les Républicains, which tabled the motion.

The new notion is tailor-made for British citizens, following an unsuccessful notion that would have applied to all foreign nationalities.

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