Defence Secretary Dr. Liam Fox MP has insisted that there was nothing sexual in the now scrapped proposal to share an aircraft carrier with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
After months of speculation that the Royal Navy would be forced to bunk up with the French armed forces, the Defence Secretary has decided to quash rumours with a very carefully worded statement.
“Over the past few months, a number of commentators, mostly online, have generated a series of allegations and innuendoes about proposals to encourage the Air Force to share an aircraft carrier with the French.
The French armed forces are uniquely qualified to operate their own aircraft carrier, and they have a great deal of experience in doing just that; that is why we selected them as allies. However, suggestions that the relationship between the UK armed Forces and the French has gone beyond the professional into something more inappropriate are seriously wide of the mark.
The Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy have never had any relationship with the French, and we have no need to engage in sharing of capital ships or aircraft carriers.
In hindsight, the decision to share a command vessel with the French, resulting in the sharing of bunks with garlic-munching cheese fetishising surrender monkeys in Exercise Entente Cordiale II in 2008, whilst not inappropriate, was always going to lead to speculation; we should have seen the perception it created in peoples’ minds.
There has been unwarranted suggestion that the UK armed forces, and the relationship between the Treasury and the MoD have been under strain. In fact, our relationship is strong.
As many will understand, we have experienced difficulty in developing our own aircraft carriers. Although keels have been laid on two such vessels, due to the tragedy of Labour’s massive cost over-runs and the idiocy of MoD procurement policies under Labour, the process of commissioning them have not been successful to date.
I had not wished to release this statement, but the chair of the Defence Staff and I felt that it was time to lay this wicked rumour to rest. I do not intend to add to this statement, and I wish M. Sarkozy all the best in the future.