PARIS (Reuters) -- France's ruling UMP party plans to present a bill to parliament in January on banning full Islamic veils in all public places and not just in certain buildings, a senior party official have said.
The bill would be accompanied by a resolution related to respect for women, Jean-Francois Cope, the parliamentary party leader of President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP, told a news conference.
Both propositions would be handed to parliament during the first two weeks of January, before the conclusions of a French parliamentary inquiry into the all-covering niqab and burqa are published.
France has been moving towards outlawing full Islamic veils in certain public buildings and had appeared to stop short of a broader ban that could violate religious freedom and deepen a rift in the government.
Most politicians are waiting for the results of the parliamentary inquiry before deciding on the need for a law.
A complete ban could meet with legal obstacles. Switzerland's ban on minarets
, for example, has been challenged
before the European Court of Human Rights.
The French government is already facing internal dissent over a campaign to discuss national identity that has attracted accusations of racism, and a burqa law could be a difficult sell.