France may soon recognise British civil partnerships if an amendment to the law is passed.

Currently, British recognises French partnerships, known as Pacs (Pacte Civil de Solidarité) but France does not reciprocate this recognition.

The English-language newspaper The Connexion reports that the proposal to amend the law was made by Green Party senator Alima Boumediene-Thiery.

It was jointly supported by Green and Socialist senators and has now been agreed by the whole upper house.

It will be heard in the National Assembly, where supporters believe it will be passed.

As it stands, the law means British couples in civil partnerships who live in France have to pay heavy inheritance taxes of 60 per cent if one of them dies. French couples in Pacs do not have to pay such duties.

Jerry Lea, who owned a holiday home in France with his partner Geoff Page is facing a large inheritance tax bill after Mr Page died in the country last April.

The couple, who were in a civil partnership, jointly owned a property in France but Mr Lea has been told he may have to pay a 60 per cent rate of inheritance tax on Mr Page’s half of the home.

France has suggested that British civil partners can divorce and then get a Pacs, which will be valid in both countries.

However, legal experts have suggested that this would convene the European Convention on human rights and would be unworkable as ‘unreasonable behaviour’ or a separation of two years would have to be proved.