MPs continue to argue over the immigration bill. The National Assembly on Thursday (December 7th) rejected a text calling into question the 1968 Franco-Algerian agreement, before launching the examination of a constitutional reform also proposed by LR deputies, determined to increase the pressure on the presidential camp around immigration.

Four days before the arrival of the immigration bill in session, Les Républicains placed these two texts at the top of the poster of their day reserved at the Palais Bourbon, before others on health, housing and education.

Embodying Firmness

With no hope of seeing them adopted, their objective is above all to embody firmness in the eyes of the public, in the face of a government "without ambition" on immigration and whose bill, after its hardening in the Senate, was "unraveled" in their eyes in committee in the Assembly.

Their motion for a resolution to put an end to the agreement between France and Algeria, which confers a special status on Algerians in terms of movement, residence and employment in France, was rejected, with 151 votes against and 114 in favour.

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Within the presidential camp, only the Horizons group and two isolated MEPs from the Renaissance group voted in favour of this text, which, if it had ever been adopted, would not have been binding. The National Rally has given its support to the initiative of the LR, which all the left-wing groups have, on the contrary, reproached for stirring up migratory "fantasies".

LR MP Michèle Tabarot had pleaded in the hemicycle in favour of a "very important" proposal, judging that the agreement gave Algerians "an almost automatic right to immigration".

Prime Minister open to discussion on treaty

Macronist deputies did not take a dim view of sending a "signal" to Algeria, but the Renaissance group agreed on a vote against it.

Its speaker, Huguette Tiegna, considered that the revision of the agreement was "necessary" but could not be done unilaterally, which would be "an aggression towards a neighbouring and friendly country".

On the other hand, their allies in the Horizons group took it upon themselves to vote in favour. A question of "coherence", according to their leader Laurent Marcangeli: former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, president of Horizons, had advocated in June the questioning of this agreement, i.e. before the tabling of the LR text.

While there is no question of unilateral denunciation, the negotiation of a new amendment "is on the agenda", Elisabeth Borne said on Wednesday.

Republicans want to break free from EU rules

After their first setback, the LR deputies have begun to present their second text, a vast reform of the Constitution, without which legislation will be futile in the face of "mass immigration", according to them.

They propose to broaden the scope of the referendum to include immigration issues. And that organic laws adopted by both assemblies or by referendum may derogate from international agreements or European law.

The right has already suffered a setback in the Senate on Wednesday, with the rejection of these two flagship proposals in committee.

"It is time to return to a vision that gives the French the course of their destiny," LR president Eric Ciotti said Thursday in the Assembly's hemicycle.

Both present, the Ministers of the Interior and Justice, Gérald Darmanin and Eric Dupond-Moretti, did not close the door on the referendum part of the reform.

But Gérald Darmanin denounced the "double Frexit", "European" and "constitutional", that the derogation from European rules would represent. "If you want to change Europe, you have to win the European elections and change the European treaties," he said.

Taking advantage of the concern related to the terrorist context

The LR reform also provides for the end of the right of birth in Mayotte and the annual quotas capping immigration, determined by Parliament.

Bouncing back on the news, after the knife attack near the Eiffel Tower, Eric Ciotti added an amendment aimed at "allowing security detention in a closed center against Islamists who still constitute a danger when they are released from prison".

The left has been firing red balls at all these proposals. For Socialist MP Cécile Untermaier, they show that "the far right implants its vocabulary and its frameworks of thought within the republican right".

"Why are you running behind the ideas of the RN? You will never catch up with them," Modem MP Erwan Balanant also told them. If time permits, after the examination of the constitutional reform (the parliamentary niches end at midnight precisely), LR then hopes to complete the examination of a bill aimed at training more doctors.

With AFP

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