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France Sunk By Royal Navy Again After Paying €100M For Uk Warships

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-sunk-by-royal-navy-again-after-paying-100m-for-uk-warships-9124418.html

The Emperor Napoleon would be spinning in his tomb. So might be Admiral Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve, the man who lost the Battle of Trafalgar.

In 2005, precisely two centuries after the battle, the French government took the first of a series of decisions that led accidentally to the French taxpayer subsidising two giant warships for the Royal Navy.

The French government’s public spending watchdog protested this week that a defence co-operation agreement signed by Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair in 2006 led to “a French contribution pure and simple to the financing of [two] British aircraft carriers in their early development phase”.

The amount of the accidental cross-Channel subsidy to HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, now under construction on the Firth of Forth, is estimated as at least €100m (£82m) and possibly more than double that. The loss was buried at sea in the small print of the 2013 French defence estimates but dredged from its watery grave by the Cour des comptes, or court of auditors, in its annual report this week.

..

Nonetheless, the French government signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Britain in 2006. France handed over €102m for the right to consult “off the shelf” the development work already undertaken by Britain. It contributed another €112m over the next two years for further studies. In 2008, under President Nicolas Sarkozy, Paris dropped its plans for the new aircraft carrier which would have cost around €3bn.

“Between 2006 and 2007, France spent €214 m – €102m handed over to London as an entry ticket and €112m in industrial contracts – whose results are now useless to us,” said the Cour des comptes.

Genius and we have a aircraft carriers with no aircraft.

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It's funny because when the deal was initially done, I assumed the French would somehow end up on top as usual. But I guess you could consider it money well spent to get out of an onerous obligation. It's costing the French 100's of millions for no benefit, but it'll be costing us billons for no benefit. So maybe they ddi end up on top, dammit.

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Different governments - Tony and the Sarkozy had a group hug and talk of each country buying a carrierwith the carriers manned by joint Brit and French crews. As soon as they were out of office the idea died a death.

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Different governments - Tony and the Sarkozy had a group hug and talk of each country buying a carrierwith the carriers manned by joint Brit and French crews. As soon as they were out of office the idea died a death.

Just imagine Tony and Sarko having a tête à tete fantasising about all the countries they're going to invade with their new toys, and then perhaps a bit of naked wrestling in front of the open log fire afterwards.

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