Military/Intelligence Bulletin 01/2019 – Despite Brexit….Anglo-French bilateral defence …..

Despite Brexit….Anglo-French bilateral defence and security remains important to both nations, as well as NATO and Europe.

So what does the Anglo-French bilateral defence and security co-operation consist of?

Systematic joint operations – Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), set to be fully operational in 2020.

Ad Hoc Military Operations – Improved interoperability leading to joint counter insurgency operations. Operation Barkhane for example,  ongoing anti-insurgent operation in Africa’s Sahel region. There is a already a 3,000 strong French force in situ.

Naval Co-operation – From 2019 onwards, we can expect to see increasing cooperation in regard to carrier deployments and mutual support and joint command during coalition naval operations.

Nuclear – Continued Co-operation between the UKs Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Commission (CEA).

Intelligence Sharing – Bilateral Intelligence sharing; for example the counter-terrorism casework between MI5 and DGSI

Strategic Oversight – The UK-France Defence Ministerial Council, created in January 2018, a forum created to maintain communication.


France’s Marine Nationale aircraft carrier FS Charles De Gaulle (R 91). US Ospreys have landed aboard the French vessel.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Maj. Joshua Smith


Members of the French army’s elite mountain infantry are training with soldiers from their sister battalion in Scotland during Exercise Joint Warrior 2019.  Members of the Chasseurs Alpins units are taking part in live firing exercises with the Second Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Credit BFBS


French soldiers getting to grips with the SA-80 rifle – standard issue weaponry for the British military.

Credit BFBS


The French Ministry of the Armed Forces have given their assurances that Brexit will have no direct effect on the bilateral defence relationship.  France wishes for this special relationship to be strengthened.

France and the UK are considered to be two of the three biggest NATO powers and play a key role in the UN. The UK and France are the only two European permanent members of the UN Security Council, who both have a desire to maintain their global power status. Both countries continue to co-operate on nuclear weapons technology.



Nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard arrives back at HM Naval Base Clyde, Faslane, Scotland following a patrol.

By CPOA(Phot) Tam McDonald – Defence Imagery


The French Triomphant-class submarine –Téméraire

Credit – CC BY-SA 2.0 fr


British and French Marines on Exercise together.

Naval co-operation between the two countries continues in the Indian Ocean, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Caribbean. In 2019, will be functional, involving our aircraft carriers. British and French officers will resume joint command of Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), a multinational coalition conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean.

Paris and London made an importance announcement in January 2018, when the two countries announced a series of measures. The most significant being the formation of a UK-France Defence Ministerial Council, its purpose to provide strategic oversight and direction to the bilateral defence relationship. This ensures a permanent regular forum maintaining a strong defence co-operation, despite Brexit.

Post copyrighted to Harvey Black