France and Britain join forces

The Prime Minister and the French president signed agreements for greater military co-operation including aircraft carriers, submarines, nuclear technology and ground forces. As part of the agreement, the two countries will share aircraft carrier capability. When France’s single carrier is out of service, Britain’s one vessel could conduct missions for both nations, and vice versa. Mr Cameron said the British Prime Minister said citizens of both countries would be “better protected” as a result of the two treaties.

Mr Sarkozy said the “unprecedented” agreement marked “a level of trust and confidence between the two countries never equalled in history.” Mr Sarkozy was asked whether he would be prepared to deploy French forces to deal with a crisis over the Falkland Islands. He replied that he would only deploy French forces where French interests were at stake, but insisted that any “major” British security crisis would almost certainly affect France too.

Mr Sarkozy said it would be unlikely that Britain could face the kind of crisis which required the deployment of an aircraft carrier without it affecting France. “We are not identical, there are many things on which we don’t agree and I know that there is the Channel between our two countries,” he said. “However, our values are the same, we share the same values, our interests are fair. All my political life I have argued in favour of rapprochement between London and Paris.” He added: “If you, my British friends, have to face a major crisis, could you imagine France simply sitting there, its arms crossed, saying that it’s none of our business?” Mr Cameron said of the defence agreement: “We have been able to do something really quite big, bold and radical.

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