AUKUS deal: Macron ‘looks ridiculous’ says Nigel Farage
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European Affairs Minister Michael Roth said that the Australian Government reneging on a £43 billion deal with France to supply it with diesel-powered submarines was a “wake up call”. Mr Morrison’s Government has dumped the long-standing agreement in favour of being kitted out with nuclear-powered submarines with help from the US and UK.
The snub enraged Emmanuel Macron’s Government which accused the US and Australia of “blindsiding” it.
And as the dust begins to settle on the bitter spat, Mr Roth insisted the development highlighted the importance of EU states working together.
Speaking in Brussels ahead of a meeting of general affairs ministers from the EU’s 27 nations, he said: “We cannot exclusively rely on others but must cooperate, and we have to overcome our differences [within the EU] and speak with one voice.”
Mr Roth added that “the lost trust has to be rebuilt, and it will obviously not be easy.
“But we want to make a constructive contribution [to the process].”
Other European officials expressed similar sentiments including French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune.
He insisted that EU states “cannot act as if nothing happened” and should “look into all options” when formulating a joint response.
Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian branded the situation “a crisis of trust”.
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He also blasted the “unilateralism, unpredictability, brutality” and lack of respect to partners that the move entailed.
French fury over last Wednesday’s announcement by US President Joe Biden, Boris Johnson and Mr Morrison led to Mr Macron recalling his Australian and American ambassadors.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also slammed the way that France had been treated.
What do you think about Mr Roth’s comments? Will the EU start sticking together more? Click here and comment below.
She said it was “not acceptable” and stressed that there were questions that needed to be answered before Western nations could go back to “business as usual.”
“We are friends and allies, and friends and allies talk to each other … on issues of common interest. This clearly did not happen,” she told CNN.
France has so far kept its ambassador to the UK in place – in a move which was branded a slight by some observers.
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