While deputies and senators were on the verge of reaching an agreement on the bill establishing the vaccine pass on Thursday evening, a tweet from the boss of the Republicans in the Senate caused everything to fall apart.

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“No pretext of form can justify before the French the questioning of a substantive agreement”, estimated Thursday January 13 on franceinfo, Bruno Retailleau, president of the group Les Républicains in the Senate, after a tweet from him on the victory of the Senate on the vaccine pass was disputed by Yael Braun-Pivet, the President of the Assembly’s Law Commission. So the bill will therefore have to leave for a shuttle between Assembly and Senate for its final adoption.

Do you admit you made a mistake?

Bruno Retailleau: No doubt the tweet left too quickly. When he left we thought the commission was over because it was taking place at the National Assembly. But the Senate has shown for several months that it was keen to build a broader consensus with the government. We voted for the principle of the vaccination pass, by amending it, by framing it. We had reached out to the government. Telling me that a slightly anticipated tweet can ruin everything… I think that no pretext of form can justify in front of the French the questioning of a substantive agreement. This basic agreement had been found so I think it is still possible.

What did you agree on?

We were very concerned to place the vaccination pass under the supervision of Parliament so that each week there are health indicators which may or may not justify its maintenance. We wanted on the systematic control of identity cards to find a formula to make it more flexible. We also wanted to preserve companies on the arbitration of telework. Nothing called into question the vaccination pass. We simply wanted to do our job, to build a law that could be the most appropriate for the French.

Why did the majority do this?

You have to ask them the question. I don’t understand how a tweet can have so many consequences. We are in a health crisis, we need a vaccination pass to encourage one or the other to be vaccinated. So please don’t let a tweet break the construction of an agreement that was practically sealed. There will be a reading in the Assembly and then in the Senate and I hope that serenity will return and that we will converge. The objective is that we manage, one and all, to go beyond our partisan chapels. What does a tweet weigh against an instrument to protect the French? It’s incomprehensible and that’s why I say it’s a pretext. I regret nothing. It’s totally disproportionate.



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