Exercises

UK And France Military Relationship 'Will Not Disappear' Post-Brexit

France's Admiral Christophe Prazuck made the comments during a joint Anglo-French exercise off the coast of Scotland.

The head of the French navy says the country's military relationship with the UK "will not disappear" after Brexit. 

Admiral Christophe Prazuck made the comments during an exercise with the Royal Navy.

Exercise Griffin Strike, held off the coast of Scotland, involved more than 2,000 personnel.

The exercise is designed to test the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) - an Anglo-French military force that has been in development since 2010.

Speaking on board French vessel FS Tonnerre, Admiral Prazuck told Forces News the working relationship between the navies will remain, regardless of Brexit. 

"The reality is that we are neighbours, we share the same values and that our military tools are very similar," he said.

"This is the basis on which all this is built and it will not disappear with Brexit."

RFA Argus and FS Tonnerre off coast of Scotland 181019 CREDIT BFBS
HMS Albion and German supply ship FGS Berlin off the coast of Scotland.

It comes after Britain announced it had negotiated a new withdrawal agreement from the European Union.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said it is a "good deal", however, it still has to face MPs in the House of Commons on Saturday. 

The CJEF is complementary to NATO and it is hoped to be fully operational by next summer.

It is designed to take on any future crisis that is of common concern to France and the UK.

The Royal Navy's First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, said: "We need to work together so that we can combat people that might want to threat us...to disrupt our trade."

Fifteen aircraft, 14 ships and three submarines are also all taking part in Exercise Griffin Strike, which is designed to improve military cooperation between the two nations.

Royal Marines on Exercise Griffin Strike.
Royal Marines and French troops on Exercise Griffin Strike.

Drills included the medical teams of FS Tonnerre and RFA Argus working together to deal with an influx of casualties.

Surgeon Commander Rex Kinnear-Mellor said: "Interoperability with our NATO counterparts, including the French, as we've done here is a demonstration of how well we can work together.

"Medicine is a common language, using that together we can achieve the same aims."

Royal Marines and French marines also worked alongside each other as part of the exercise.