INDIA

Cancellation of French submarine deal ‘shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise’

Liberal Senator James Paterson says Australia scrapping the French submarine deal “shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise" to the French government as it appears to. 

It comes as France has acted swiftly and angrily to the cancellation of a $90 billion submarine contract with Australia following the announcement last week of the AUKUS trilateral partnership. 

“It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to the French government as it appears to, given that these issues have been widely and publicly canvased in the media for many months,” Mr Paterson told Sky News Australia. 

“And given that the Australian government negotiated in its contract with Naval Group a number of off-ramps that would allow us to exit the agreement if we believed that either that the capability was no longer fit for the purpose that we needed it for or if we were unsatisfied with the progress that Naval Group was making against that contract. 

“It’s my understanding that the government has at a number of points expressed concerns to the French government about the Naval Group's performance against the contract. 

“So, I think no one should be completely surprised, particularly because we’ve always reserved the right that if the strategic circumstances have changed, and they have, then we would consider getting an alternative.”

Liberal Senator James Paterson says Australia scrapping the French submarine deal “shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise” to the French government as it appears to.

It comes as France has acted swiftly and angrily to the cancellation of a $90 billion submarine contract with Australia following the announcement last week of the AUKUS trilateral partnership.

“It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to the French government as it appears to, given that these issues have been widely and publicly canvased in the media for many months,” Mr Paterson told Sky News Australia.

“And given that the Australian government negotiated in its contract with Naval Group a number of off-ramps that would allow us to exit the agreement if we believed that either that the capability was no longer fit for the purpose that we needed it for or if we were unsatisfied with the progress that Naval Group was making against that contract.

“It’s my understanding that the government has at a number of points expressed concerns to the French government about the Naval Group’s performance against the contract.

“So, I think no one should be completely surprised, particularly because we’ve always reserved the right that if the strategic circumstances have changed, and they have, then we would consider getting an alternative.” Liberal Senator James Paterson says Australia scrapping the French submarine deal “shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise” to the French government as it appears to.

It comes as France has acted swiftly and angrily to the cancellation of a $90 billion submarine contract with Australia following the announcement last week of the AUKUS trilateral partnership.

“It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to the French government as it appears to, given that these issues have been widely and publicly canvased in the media for many months,” Mr Paterson told Sky News Australia.

“And given that the Australian government negotiated in its contract with Naval Group a number of off-ramps that would allow us to exit the agreement if we believed that either that the capability was no longer fit for the purpose that we needed it for or if we were unsatisfied with the progress that Naval Group was making against that contract.

“It’s my understanding that the government has at a number of points expressed concerns to the French government about the Naval Group’s performance against the contract.

“So, I think no one should be completely surprised, particularly because we’ve always reserved the right that if the strategic circumstances have changed, and they have, then we would consider getting an alternative.”

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