October 8, 2010


Friday, 8 October 2010

UK To Share Nuclear Deterrent With French  

I blogged back in August about the desire of the EU to have a common defence strategy in response to reports on Britain and France possibly sharing warships. (Incidentally The Talking Clock has a video on EU battlegroups).

Today the Financial Times has a piece on the continuation of this process - the astonishing possibility of effectively sharing our nuclear deterrent (my emphasis):
An agreement being negotiated by the UK and France would see British nuclear warheads serviced by French scientists and break with half a century in which neither country has collaborated on its independent deterrent.Ahead of a summit in three weeks, the governments are close to agreeing that Britain would use a French laboratory to help maintain and service its 160 nuclear warheads, officials in both countries say.
Naturally the FT doesn't mention the EU aspect of this (it usually sits in Guardian territory on all matters EU), but it continues:

Britain and France run completely different deterrent systems with all details kept secret. The scheme would give Britain access for the first time to France’s Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique, which maintains about 300 warheads in the French force de frappe.In effect, the CEA would service UK nuclear warheads, raising concerns among politicians in both countries about whether their governments were maintaining an independent deterrent.
Too right it would raise concerns. The FT then quotes a French Defence Analyst who doesn't appear to be bereft of glee:
François Heisbourg, a French defence analyst, said sharing warhead research would assume “that the British break their very special relationship with America in that field”. This would require considerable “confidence on the US part”.
Given Cameron's poor military history knowledge, he probably will fail to understand the significant of this.

What is clear is that the pace of EU integration is not akin to that under Labour but has instead been accelerated. Not a surprise to anyone who has followed Tory EU policies for any length of time.