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‘Our Most Dear Enemies’: UK-French relations since 1945

02 March 2017, 9:30
RUSI Whitehall
A panel discussion with RT Howard and Eugene Curley on the unique relationship between the UK and France since 1945.

Since the end of the Second World War France and the UK have enjoyed close relations and worked together many times, whether on the battlefield or in the world of espionage, across the globe, stretching back to the Suez Crisis and all the way to the modern day in Libya. However, this rosy picture has a darker underside, as was seen in the Falklands War when France officially offered its support to the UK but secretly also supplied Argentina with Exocet missiles, which were used to sink the HMS Sheffield. France and the UK have also looked upon the ‘European project’ very differently since its initial conception as the European Economic Community. Despite the close cultural and social ties between the two nations there are many ways in which the old rivalry has continued to play out.

R.T. Howard, journalist and author of the recently published book Power and Glory: France’s Secret Wars with Britain and America, 1945-2016, and Eugene Curley, Managing Director of C|T|F Solutions and former senior director at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will discuss the unique relationship between the UK and France, characterised alternately by friendship and by feuding.

If you have any questions please email Nathan Mathiot at nathanm@rusi.org

Speakers Biographies

RT Howard is a journalist and author writing on international relations and is an associate editor of an international magazine on intelligence issues, Eye Spy. He has authored six books on international relations and his articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Independent on Sunday, Wall Street Journal, Spectator, New Statesman, International Herald Tribune, Jane's Intelligence Review, RUSI Journal, The World Today and IISS Survival.

Eugene Curley, CMG OBE, established C|T|F Solutions, part of the C|T Group, in 2014, having been a senior director for 25 years at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and, from 2011 to 2014, was CEO of G3, a leading UK based global business intelligence, risk advisory, litigation support and information security consultancy. During his time with the FCO he served at the British Embassy Paris for a period of time.

At the FCO Eugene worked on international operations and negotiations at ministerial and head of state level across the globe – having led operations for the British Government in over 70 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Latin America. Eugene’s broad experience covers political and geo-strategic issues, conflict resolution, international finance, intelligence and counter-terrorism. He also worked at the Bank of England early in his career. Eugene speaks fluent French and Spanish.

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