The UK-France defence and security relationship: How to improve cooperation

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The Policy Institute has worked with French think tank Institut Montaigne to assess the health of the UK-France defence and security relationship and make recommendations for how to improve cooperation between the two countries. To do so, the two organisations established a taskforce comprised of 20 top-level French and British defence and security experts and conducted interviews with current and former British and French officials from the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office, the Foreign Office, diplomatic missions, Parliament, intelligence services and business leaders. The taskforce concludes that while UK-France cooperation on defence and security has never been so valuable, it has also never been so fragile. It makes the following recommendations: 1. Tackle the security challenges raised by Brexit - Ensure that Brexit does not endanger security cooperation between the UK and the EU27. - Maintain border cooperation agreements. 2. Ensure the full implementation of the Lancaster House Treaties - Reinforce strategic dialogue and mutual knowledge through the creation of an annual UK-France Defence and Security Council and a more regular '2+2' dialogue. - Prepare the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force for operations. - Increase cooperation through shared training facilities and cooperation on maintenance of equipment. 3. Prepare for the future - Build Future Combat Air System capacity. - Increase cyber security cooperation by developing formalised and structured modes of cooperation, complementing the Lancaster House Treaties with a cyber security pillar and establishing a joint government taskforce to explore options for further cooperation. - Formulate a joint strategic vision to inform R&D planning. - Implement a formal intelligence framework between France and the UK. - Deepen joint defence engagement activities. - Use and strengthen officer exchange programmes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe Policy Institute at King's
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2018


  • France
  • Defence policy
  • Security cooperation
  • Air power
  • Maritime power
  • armed forces
  • Diplomacy
  • Brexit


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