Ben Wallace quizzed over submarine pact with Australia
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The bizarre suggestion was floated by Twitter user Mia Queef – an advocate of Scottish independence, judging by her Twitter handle – in a post the announcement, by Boris Johnson, US President Joe Biden, and Australian President Scott Morrison earlier this week. She posted: “France a pure EU member, has lost a €90billion contract to build subs because of Brexit.”
Ms Queef, whose Twitter page features a picture of herself draped in an EU flag, added: “The EU must make sure that the UK pays compensation to France and impose a total blockade until the racist UK pays up.”
The self-proclaimed “she/her goddess”, whose page claims: “We’ve left the most important community the world has ever known”, declared: “Good EU citizens can’t lose out because of Brexit.”
Other Twitter users were less convinced by her suggestion, with William Haggis asking: “And what about Washington and Canberra?
“They are also in this as well, and yet you’re targeting London instead.”
Ms Queef responded: “They aren’t rebel EU provinces. Unlike the UK.”
She added: “A total trade embargo would do it. Stop all goods and services between the UK and EU.”
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Mr Haggis added: “It almost like France is begging the EU to start World War 3 because of a trilateral partnership between the UK, Australia and the US.”
France, led by President Emmanuel Macron, has reacted angrily to the news of the deal, which scuppers a deal with France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines.
Instead, Australia will build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology in a move widely seen as aimed at countering Chinese dominance in the Asia-Pacific region.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian raged: “It’s a stab in the back.
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“We created a relationship of trust with Australia and that trust has been broken.”
However, Mr Morrison responded by saying he had raised the possibility that Australia might scrap a 2016 submarine deal with a French company in talks with the French president in June, rejecting French criticism that it had not been warned.
He told 5aa Radio: “I made it very clear, we had a lengthy dinner there in Paris, about our very significant concerns about the capabilities of conventional submarines to deal with the new strategic environment we’re faced with.
“I made it very clear that this was a matter that Australia would need to make a decision on in our national interest.”
Meanwhile, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace acknowledged France’s “frustration” from France after speaking to French counterpart Florence Parly on Wednesday night.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I understand France’s disappointment.
“They had a contract with the Australians for diesel-electrics from 2016 and the Australians have taken this decision that they want to make a change.
“We didn’t go fishing for that, but as a close ally when the Australians approached us of course we would consider it.
“I understand France’s frustration about it.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, and US President Joe Biden at the G7 summit in Cornwall in June.
Downing Street confirmed that the three leaders discussed the subs at the meeting.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman added: “I wouldn’t say there was one single meeting that did it, this has been something that has been an undertaking of several months, it’s a culmination of that work.”
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