* Disagreement over EU reform seen at Anglo-French summit
* Hollande wary of treaty change, Cameron wants reform
* Defence, energy and technology deals to be signed
By William James
LONDON, Jan 31 British Prime Minister David
Cameron is set to clash with France's President Francois
Hollande over how to reform the European Union on Friday,
souring an Anglo-French summit aimed at deepening defence and
The first Anglo-French summit since Hollande won power in
May 2012 will announce joint investment in the latest phase of a
combat drone scheme, cooperation on civil nuclear power research
and an agreement on space and satellite technology.
But the real discussion begins later when, after the formal
signing of defence and energy agreements, the leaders retire to
a country pub close to Cameron's family home near Oxford in
central England to air their differences over EU reforms.
Cameron wants to re-open European Union treaties to try to
secure sweeping reforms to make the trade bloc more efficient -
an agenda he hopes will both persuade eurosceptic voters to back
him at a 2015 election and quell dissent within his party. He
has promised a referendum on Britain's EU membership by 2017.
"I'm sure that as part of those discussions around EU reform
over lunch, certainly the prime minister will be making the
points he has around the importance of a more flexible, more
competitive European Union," a British government official said.
But sources close to Hollande said this week that he was
strongly against rewriting the treaties to suit Britain's
domestic political agenda and that Cameron's push for
deregulation was "toxic".
"Our interest is that the United Kingdom stays in Europe but
that can't be achieved at the price of dismantling Europe," a
source close to the French president said.
Two British officials said Cameron was optimistic of success
in his overall drive to reform Europe, but added that it was
natural for other EU members to have different views.
Britain says it has support for some of its renegotiation
aims, such as a tightening of immigration policy, from states
such as German and Austria.
The official focus of the summit will be on defence, where a
120 million pound ($197.96 million) feasibility study into the
technology behind an Anglo-French combat drone project will be
unveiled. The leaders are due to inspect a prototype of the
drone at the summit venue, a military airfield.
No decisions were expected on which companies would be
involved in the study.
The focus on defence stems from a 2010 Anglo-French pact
signed that paved the way for a joint defence force as well as
collaboration on drones and other military technology
Friday's summit is expected to announce a 500 million pound
joint purchase of anti-ship missiles developed by MBDA, a
consortium of BAE Systems, Airbus Group, and
An agreement was also expected to allow the early delivery
of two Airbus A400M transporter planes to Britain.
A number of collaborations on satellite technology are also
due to be unveiled alongside a programme for sharing research on
civil nuclear power.
That will include steps to involve small and medium sized
British firms in the production of a nuclear power plant by
French firm EDF at Hinkley point in Western England,
the British officials said.