The Brexit-related amendment was added to the text by French conservative senators during November parliamentary discussions and was validated during a final vote. “Let [the British] enjoy their second homes and spend their money in France,” conservative Senator Philippe Bas said at the time in defending the measure.
Under the dropped proposal, a new long-term visa would have been issued automatically to British owners of second homes. Following Thursday’s court decision the old rules will continue to apply, with British citizens being allowed to spend up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period on the Continent. Those who want to stay longer must apply for ad-hoc long-term visas.
The Constitutional Council cut 32 of 86 articles from the controversial immigration bill, which fueled a government crisis after passing in parliament with far-right votes. Last month, France’s then-Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne anticipated that parts of her government’s own draft law on immigration could be unconstitutional.
Jason Wiels contributed reporting.