Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen
BBC World Service

Britain and France to share military costs

Rebecca Singer Nov 2, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY
BBC World Service

Britain and France to share military costs

Rebecca Singer Nov 2, 2010
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: From the Marketplace “We never thought this would happen” file. Today, Britain and France will sign a landmark military agreement. Despite the fact that for centuries, they’ve been pretty hardcore enemies.

The BBC’s Rebecca Singer has that.


REBECCA SINGER: The French and British are famously waged a one-hundred year war against one another. But now, the shared enemy of government deficits has led the two countries to sign a treaty to share their military costs. The proposals include creating a rapid reaction force made up of troops from both countries under one command. As well as ideas to share air craft carriers. Liam Fox is the U.K.’s defense secretary, he says the agreement will take advantage of economies of scale.

LIAM FOX: Remember that Britain and France together are responsible for about 50 percent of all the defense spending within EU countries. It makes a lot of sense for us not to spend money reinventing the wheel but to work together where we can.

While there is already some close cooperation between Britain and France — there have also been big differences in opinion — most recently over involvement in the Iraq war. And any deal would allow each country to decide which fights they wanted to stay out of.

In London, I’m the BBC’s Rebecca Singer for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.