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National Front mayor renames French street 'rue de Brexit'

Julien Sanchez speaks during an interview as he arrives for his discrimination trial in Nimes on January 7, 2016. Pascal Guyot, AFP

French mayor who is a member of France’s right-wing eurosceptic National Front party has renamed a street in his town “rue de Brexit”, meant as a “homage” to Britain's decision to leave the European Union in June.

Mayor Julien Sanchez called his decision to rename the street in the southern French town of Beaucaire a “homage to the sovereign British people’s decision" to reject the European Union in a June 23 referendum.

A member of Marine Le Pen’s eurosceptic National Front party, Sanchez announced the move via Twitter. He included a document showing the Beaucaire city council’s 23-to-9 vote in favour of the decision, dated December 22.

The decision can be contested before the administrative tribunal of Nimes within the next two months, according to France Bleu news.

The previously unnamed street lies near rue Robert Schuman and avenue Jean Monnet, which were both named after men considered to be founding fathers of the EU.

A pro-Brexit account hailed the move on Twitter: “A Mayor in France has named their new road 'Rue du Brexit' to pay tribute to our vote for independence!”

But The Guardian reported that the decision sparked ridicule when it became clear that the street in question was actually a circular thoroughfare that leads nowhere.

The National Front's Le Pen is expected to face off against François Fillon of the conservative Les Républicains party in the May 2017 second round of presidential elections, with polls predicting an eventual victory for Fillon.

Britain's former prime minister David Cameron, who resigned shortly after the Brexit vote, has said that a win for Le Pen next year would deliver a "body blow" to the EU.