Members of the public joined representatives from French ski resorts in Bourg Saint Maurice, as a friendly anti-Brexit demonstration was staged outside the Eurostar terminal – the entry point to many of the major French ski resorts.
The initiative was organised to send a message to both the UK and the rest of Europe that perhaps it is not too late to reconsider Brexit and to show how important the British clients are to the French ski resorts. Saturday 6th April was chosen as this was when the last Eurostar of the season departed Bourg Saint Maurice in the direction of London.
Participants joined the Mayor of Bourg Saint Maurice, Michel Giraudy and representatives from the Haute Tarentaise resorts of Les Arcs, Val d’Isère, Tignes, Sainte-Foy, Villaroger and Les Chapelles, as they welcomed Eurostar passengers departing for London at 09.34 with music, banners and in the good-natured spirit of the demonstration, a typical French breakfast with coffee and croissants.
Michel Giraudy, Mayor of Bourg Saint Maurice Les Arcs said: “We have a direct link to London all through winter with the Eurostar, making London a suburb of Bourg Saint Maurice. The Tarentaise is an international region with over 250,000 British skiers coming out every winter and a large community of British residents, many of whom are now requesting French nationality. There is concern about the impact Brexit may have over the tour operators, the number of clients that will come to visit the local ski resorts, and the impact that will have on local businesses.
"We are Europeans! It seems unimaginable for our parents who built Europe to build a new barrier between France and Great Britain. It is incomprehensible for our children born in Europe, who travel without a passport, to face new constraints. And it is unacceptable for the British people living in Haute Tarentaise, and of course for the 500 000 British people who visit our region each winter, to disrupt their holidays in France.
“The British are at home here, they have always loved the Alps. They are conquerors of many peaks including the Matterhorn and the Meije in the 19th century, and ski pioneers from the beginning of the 20th century.
“Today the British people are so close to us thanks to the Eurostar serving Bourg Saint Maurice from London every weekend in the winter season. If the Brexit is confirmed, they would have to rebuild a border control in Bourg Saint Maurice, in the heart of the Alps. Those who have imagined and built the Channel Tunnel must think that it is a «fake news», but it is not. It is the opposite of how we should be living together in Europe"