As a French voter living in Ashford, I received the below message – which I’ve translated into English – from one of the French candidates for the 3rd Constituency (covering the French electorate in Northern Europe) at the legislative election. Dan Staples
Dear French people of the UK,
The presidential election is now behind us. A completely different campaign is now beginning, with multiple and specific challenges and issues: the legislative elections. These elections are at least as important as the presidential election, because no government can hold sway without having a majority in the National Assembly. On 5 and 19 June, you will elect the deputy who will represent you and all French people living in Northern Europe for the next five years. It would be an immense pleasure to have your vote to become your MP, defend your interests, and strengthen your ties with France and all French people.
This campaign should make it possible to address major national political issues, but also practical issues that affect you directly. As the current cost of living crisis affects all French people, in particular because of the energy crisis we are going through, it is particularly important for French people living abroad, who have two areas of expenditure much larger than their compatriots in mainland France: transport (to return regularly to France) and education in French (too often inaccessible).
My main proposal in this campaign is therefore the following: bring a new railway company into the Channel Tunnel!
✍️ Why? To lower the price of trains to France and improve and diversify the services offered.
✍️ Eurostar’s monopoly has lasted long enough, and has not even been legally binding since 2010, but no other railway company has yet embarked on this path.
✍️ But having competition requires political will and determination, and I have it!
✍️ By the end of my mandate I am committed to seeing that there will be a new railway company in the Channel Tunnel, for the benefit of all French people in the United Kingdom!
I have already started lobbying with other European railway companies. But to achieve this, we need a real collective effort. I encourage you to sign the petition below!
Naturally, I have many other proposals, for the French residents of Northern Europe, but also for all French people and for France – because an MP must always keep these three priorities in mind. I will be happy to present them to you over the next few weeks during my campaign.
Candidate for Les Républicains Party at the 2022 legislative elections for French people of Northern Europe
In the same week, there was also news of Eurostar extending its services to new destinations, including three cities in Germany, following its deal with the Belgian company Thalys.
The renewed interest by local politicians in a cross-channel train service which would be of benefit to those with cross-Channel family ties is heartening. Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone, has also mentioned to constituents who lobbied him on this that he has heard of talks between GetLink (the company that runs the Eurotunnel) and a French train company to start operating a cross-Channel service.
If anyone is interested in adding to a petition on this, please let me know to [email protected] whether you are an English or a French voter.