The Australian government had been due to order 12 new diesel-electric vessels from France but ditched the £30billion deal and signed the Aukus military cooperation agreement with London and Washington
Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain, Australia and the US were tonight in a raging row with France after Canberra signed a new deal for submarines.
The Australian government had been due to order a fleet of 12 new diesel-electric vessels from France.
But it ditched the £30billion deal and signed the Aukus military cooperation agreement with London and Washington, under which it will get nuclear powered subs.
Downing Street has said “extensive work” will be carried out in the UK.
France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the move as a “stab in the back”.
But despite the fallout Boris Johnson told MPs the UK’s military ties with France remained “rock solid”.
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And the Prime Minister denied Aukus was antagonistic to China, amid fears over the country’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific.
But Theresa May questioned in the Commons whether it could see the UK dragged into war.
“What are the implications for the stance that would be taken by the United Kingdom should China attempt to invade Taiwan?” the former PM asked.
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Mr Johnson said the UK was “determined to defend international law”.
Keir Starmer said closer ties with allies makes “the world safer”.
But China said the three nations should abandon their “outdated Cold War zero-sum mentality” or risk “shooting themselves in the foot”.
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