France is formulating a strict new law under which women who wear full-length veils (burqa) in public places will have to pay a fine of over 700 pound.

The amount could be doubled for Muslim men who force their wives or other female members of their family to cover their faces, The Daily Mail has reported.

Jean-Francois Cope, president of Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP Party in the French parliament, said the new legislation was intended to protect the ‘dignity’ and ’security’ of women.

He is set to file the draft law in the National Assembly after Sarkozy said veils are ‘not welcome’ as they intimidate and alienate non-Muslims, especially in a secular country like France.

“We want a ban in public areas,” said Mr. Cope, making clear that the veil would not be allowed in public buildings nor on the streets of France, as it encourages extremism.

Mr. Cope said: “The wearing of the burqas will be subject to a fine, probably of the 4th class, which is to say 750 euros.”

He said the fine would apply to ‘all people on the public street whose face is entirely covered’

A parliamentary inquiry into the wearing of all-body burqas and naqabs is due to publish its recommendations next month, the report said.

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