Go to Main Website

Caught in the French slipstream


French President Jacques Chirac warned on 19 January that France was ready and willing to use its nuclear weapons against any state that mounted a terrorist attack on French soil. This is a clear departure from France's professed policy of no 'first strike' – and if you follow his logic through, it could also embroil Britain in a nuclear attack. That is the logic of the EU.

Chirac announced that France's force de frappe had already been reconfigured to allow it to destroy the "power centres" of any state that sponsored a terrorist assault. He also declared that France should regard its allies and its sources of strategic supplies (in other words, oil) as covered by the French nuclear umbrella.

Worryingly for us – and anyone else in the EU – the French president described France's nuclear weapons as a "key element of the security of the European continent" and went on to call for a single EU military policy, "We will have to, at the right moment, ask ourselves about a Common Defence, which would take into account existing deterrence forces in the perspective of a strong Europe, responsible for its security."

Chirac called again for the British and French nuclear deterrents to be redirected for the defence of the whole EU. So a terrorist attack in Turkey could in future elicit the use of British nuclear weapons against any state that the EU chose to decide had sponsored the attack! That, indeed, is the logic of the EU.