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This week we are holding the next in a series of summits between Britain and France, with President Hollande travelling to the UK. The summit is being held on an airbase in the south of England to emphasise the importance of the defence and security work that we do together.
Written version (continued)
These summits are something special, they really only happen between Britain and France in this way – where the Prime Minister and the President, with senior members of their cabinet, gather together for an in-depth discussion but also to take decisions on concrete co-operation.
This year we shall be putting the spotlight on the defence and security relationship, which has gathered momentum following the signing of the Lancaster House agreements in 2010. There will be some further agreements on the armed forces, both in working together and on equipment, including in the important area of drones. At the airbase there will be the latest aircraft joining both air forces to ensure that we’ve got the capacity to get our forces wherever they’re needed in the world.
We’re also two countries who are working every day on the foreign policy agenda of Syria, Iran, the crises in the Middle East and elsewhere, Africa, and so the two foreign ministers will be going into detail on that. The two Defence Ministers will be looking at the details of the defence relationship, and we should also have the two Energy Ministers given the importance of Nuclear Energy in our relationship – with the enormous EDF-Areva investment in nuclear power in the UK. There should also be an agreement on civil space co-operation.
This summit is an opportunity both to look at what we’ve accomplished in the last few years, and to set some new goals for the future. If you want to follow the detail of what’s agreed, we shall make sure you can see that on our social networking sites.