But the two governments justify the new collaboration in contrasting ways: the French see it as a way of maximising European power as an alternative to both the Chinese and the US. The British see it as a way of reinforcing Nato, and backing up the US better.
Speaking to the French newspaper La Tribune, the French Defence Minister Herve Morin said: “Faced with very low defence budgets, the Europeans are gently and comfortably sliding towards a bipolar Chinese/American world. Without some kind of political European construction, we’re giving up being a major actor on the international scene where we have less and less weight.”
But the British don’t regard co-operation with the French as a counterweight to US power.