United Kingdom

Britain says no strategic differences with France after new submarine pact

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Britain’s Secretary of State of Defence Ben Wallace leaves Downing Street 10 in London, Britain February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/Files

LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Britain's defence minister said that a new submarine pact with the United States and Australia did not represent a strategic difference between Britain and France, although he understood Paris's disappointment at the loss of the contract.

The new partnership ends Australia's 2016 deal with French shipbuilder Naval Group to build it a new submarine fleet worth $40 billion.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told the BBC he had spoken to his French counterpart and said: "This is not about a strategic difference between Britain and France."

"I understand France's disappointment on its industrial contract."

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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