The French Are Giving Away Free Croissants to Convince Brits to Vote Remain

Volunteers from “Operation Croissant” handed out the pastries at London’s King’s Cross St Pancras station yesterday, hoping to sway Brits’ votes in today’s EU referendum.

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Jun 23 2016, 9:05am

British supermarket Tesco caused a pastry chaos earlier this year when it announced that it would only be selling straight croissants, rather than the usual curved variety, in a bid to help Brits with the daily struggle of spreading jam on a crescent-shaped pastry.

So, when a group of Parisians got off the Eurostar at London's King's Cross St. Pancras station yesterday morning, armed with fresh croissants, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were coming to show Brits how breakfast pastries should be done.

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The real reason for the rendezvous? Today's European Union referendum, which sees the British public take to the polls and decide whether to leave or remain in the EU.

As former Mayor of London Boris Johnson was across town getting friendly with a salmon to promote a British exit, writer and Paris resident Rosa Rankin-Gee and two friends were staging "Operation Croissant," pulling into King's Cross with the Viennoiseries and handwritten messages from fellow Frenchies persuading British voters to join the Remain camp.

A photo posted by @jethroturner on

Rankin-Gee told MUNCHIES that Operation Croissant was sparked by a conversation with a British friend who was still wavering over which way to vote: "Ten days ago, I was talking to a friend who was on the fence about Brexit. I live in Paris, she lives in London. I jokingly said, 'If I bring you a freshly baked croissant from Paris, will you vote stay?' And she said 'Yes.'"

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Operation Croissant didn't go quite to plan as the trio were informed that by giving away the pastries, they would be committing an electoral offence. Instead the 600 croissants they had planned to hand out to wavering voters was reduced to 150, and donated to a homeless shelter. Rankin-Gee said that the 600 postcards, emblazoned with messages like "Because what would you do without a French kiss?" were all given away within 40 minutes.

Despite the political drive behind Operation Croissant, Rankin-Gee said that the campaign was also about helping Londoners start their day with a smile: "In the end, we just wanted it to be a gesture of solidarity and friendship between Paris and London, irrespective of the receiver's feelings on Brexit."

Whatever the outcome of today's referendum, one thing's for sure: we'll need to keep France onside, if only for the pastries.