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French town gets 'Brexit Street' as far right mayor 'pays homage' to UK vote

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French town gets 'Brexit Street' as far right mayor 'pays homage' to UK vote
Julien Sanchez, mayor of Beaucaire. Photo: Beaucaire municipality
15:26 CET+01:00
A town in southern France is set to get a 'Brexit Street' after its far-right mayor decided to honour Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
The currently nameless street, on an industrial estate in Beaucaire in the Gard region, will be called 'Rue du Brexit' after mayor Julien Sanchez decided he wanted to "create a buzz".
 
In a detail apparently calculated to further anger pro-Europeans, Rue du Brexit is located next to streets named after Robert Schuman and Jean Monnet, two of the main architects of European integration.
 
Announcing the move on Twitter, Sanchez said he wanted to "pay homage to the choice of the sovereign British people."
 
Speaking to France Bleu, he said the move was "not polemical" and was in keeping with the European theme of the other road names in the area.
 
"We have already received lots of messages of thanks and congratulations from British people," he said, claiming that "British MPs are starting to talk about it."
 
"I think that the people of Beaucaire are very happy that Europeans have reclaimed their sovereignty, and perhaps they will want to reclaim their own as well," he said.
 
Paying tribute to the British referendum wasn't universally popular, even among nationalist FN supporters. One Twitter user said it was "perfectly ridiculous to attach a journalistic neoligism to a street, and an Anglicism as well."
 
Another Twitter user asked: "Why don't you create an Aleppo Street to celebrate the entry of the Russians into Syria? That would be nice for Putin." The National Front is known for its closeness to the Russian régime.
 
And while the Twitter account for the British Leave.EU campaign described the name as "a fine choice," one quick-witted user responded:
The name has been approved by Beaucaire council by a 29 to 9 margin, though opponents have two months to appeal the name in the courts.
 
The Front National and leader Marine le Pen have hailed Britain's vote to leave the EU, and have stepped up calls for France to do the same. Le Pen, who looks likely to make it into the second round in next year's presidential election has dubbed herself 'Madame Frexit'. However, some polls show support for EU membership surging in the aftermath of Britain's vote to leave.
 
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