The announcement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron that their countries intend to cooperate in producing a new fighter aircraft has sparked great interest in UK defence and industrial circles. However, how significant is this as a ‘hard’ defence initiative?
Britain will have to strike new international agreements with other countries to maintain access to nuclear power technology after indicating that it is minded to leave Euratom, which has controlled the peaceful use of nuclear energy on the continent since 1957.
Leaks of the discussion at a dinner between Prime Minister Theresa May and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Junker have provided London with an early warning of the challenges which lie ahead after the 8 June election.
The first round of France’s presidential elections has shown that populists can be kept at bay. However, although the election of Emmanuel Macron as the likely next head of state will reassure the country’s allies, the reality is that France’s political system is in meltdown.
The investigation into the 3 April terrorist attack on the St Petersburg metro has focused on a man of Central Asian origin with possible ties to Syrian rebel groups. The attack raises concerns about the threat posed both by Daesh and extremists within Russia’s sizeable Central Asian community.