The global economic recession’s bite into British and French defence budgets has opened a “new chapter” in bilateral defence cooperation between these historically rival nations. Emphasising that the sovereignty of neither nation would be compromised as a result of the pact, Prime Minister David Cameron stated that “Today we open a new chapter in a long history of co-operation on defence and security between Britain and France.”
Given that Al Qaida is still very much on the loose despite all that was done by the West to defeat it, it is not surprising that Mr Cameron should desire more cooperation not just between Britain and France but with other countries of the world such as Iraq (where so many have died), Afghanistan (where Iranian money is bankrolling Mr Karzai), Pakistan (where American drones kill without any questions asked), and Yemen (where Islamic fundamentalism is thriving).
As a corollary to the defence agreement, the new chapter will also introduce further Anglo-French cooperation in the immigration arena. The two countries hope to achieve a lot more in future times in relation to immigration and tighter borders. That information can be viewed here. However, it seems that these plans will create yet more bureaucracy and this fact sits uncomfortably with the cuts in public jobs which are envisaged by Chancellor Osborne in his Spending Review.
It is the stated objective of the declaration that the two countries will stamp out the human trafficking trade and continue their struggle “against the traffickers who exploit migrants and organise the trade in human beings.”
In reality there are huge numbers of people working illegally in the UK and sometimes there is even outright slavery as in the case of a Pashtun from Afghanistan I knew who was removed this September. Saeed Lal Watandost as the UKBA knew him, preferred to be removed to Kabul rather than grass up the criminals, of British nationality, who made him work in Archway selling fruit in the winter as a slave. Hope to write about his case one day if there is ever time.
The declaration also includes provisions which will seek further cooperation in immigration matters between the world’s top ten asylum destinations.