Tuesday, September 21, 2021

AUKUS has consequences

Last week Australia announced a new security deal with the UK and US which would see it abandon its plans to buy conventional submarines from France and instead acquire nuclear-powered submarines from one of its new partners. France is pretty pissed about this - they were completely blindsided, and the submarine deal was worth tens of billions of Euros - and have threatened consequences for australia's betrayal. They've already withdrawn their ambassador (a fairly major step between ostensibly friendly countries), and now the other show is dropping: they're going to veto Australia getting a free trade deal with the EU:

France is seeking to enlist European Union support to delay a planned EU-Australia trade deal, as part of a plan to punish Australia for what it regards as serial deceit and subterfuge by Canberra before it cancelled the contract for 12 attack-class French submarines.


The EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, weighed into the diplomatic row on Monday, saying France had been treated unacceptably by the US, Australia and the UK and that many questions remained unanswered. EU foreign ministers were due to discuss the crisis on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York.

The next round of EU-Australia trade talks – the 12th – are due next month, and it remains to be seen how deeply other EU states wish to become embroiled in the fallout from the French loss of a commercial contract.

The French position makes sense. Why would you want to deal with a country which has just proven its duplicity? And the EU's qualified majority voting rule means they're not going to need too many friends to assemble a blocking majority if they really want to screw things up.