Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy have signed two new military cooperation treaties.
One of the treaties focuses on nuclear weapons cooperation. Under the agreement, a British-French centre at the British nuclear weapon research and development establishment at Aldermaston will work on nuclear testing technology, and a centre in Valduc, eastern France, will carry out (non-explosive) tests on British and French nuclear weapons to ensure their continued “safety” and effectiveness.
Another treaty signed by the two leaders will see a U.K.-French expeditionary force created consisting of approximately 5,000 troops from each side. The leaders have further agreed to keep at least one aircraft carrier in service at any given moment between the two countries and to allow the use of each other’s carriers for training and perhaps even operations.
The announcement of the treaties comes two weeks after the British government made steep cuts to its military budget as part of a government-wide deficit reduction effort (“Cameron and Sarkozy hail UK-France defence treaties,” BBC News, 2 November 2010).
U.K. government photo