23 Nov 2017

UK strengthen French defence ties over the English Channel

Newly christened Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has conducted his first bilateral meeting with Florence Parly, the French Minister for the Armed Forces, to discuss maritime intelligence sharing in the English Channel.

The two ministers met at the historic Admiralty House in London and penned an agreement reaffirming long-held British-French defence ties. This partnership will boost collaboration between Great Britain and France with a view to countering terrorism and illegal migration throughout the English Channel – one of the busiest maritime highways in the world today.

The new measures will build upon existing maritime cooperation between the Royal Navy and French Navy, with joint exercises and intelligence sharing to take place. In doing so, both nations will improve their use of modern technologies and methods of knowledge sharing to better identify suspicious activity and conduct maritime security operations.

“As we leave the European Union we will continue our relationship with our European allies and a vital part of this will be through our defence relationship,” said the Defence Secretary.

“The Channel is of huge importance to both our countries and this new agreement demonstrates our commitment to work with international partners to help tackle the threat of piracy and terrorism around the globe and protect our people at home. The United Kingdom will always do what is necessary to protect ourselves and will work with our allies, like France, to achieve this.”

The meeting precedes the next UK-France Summit in the New Year, which will again bolster defence cooperation between the two countries under the Lancaster House Treaty.

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