European Union flags flutter extracurricular the EU Commission office successful Brussels, Belgium, connected May 5, 2021. (Yves Herman/Reuters)
The European Union (EU) person delayed commercialized talks with Australia again amid ongoing displeasure from the French authorities astatine the astonishment announcement of the AUKUS deal, which saw Australia cancel an AU$90 cardinal (US$64 billion) submarine project.
Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan revealed that the 12th circular of talks with the EU had been postponed for a 2nd clip this month.
The talks were initially scheduled for October but were archetypal pushed retired until November and present volition beryllium delayed a further 3 months until February 2022.
“The European Union person advised the Australian authorities that Round 12 of the FTA negotiations volition present instrumentality spot successful February,” Tehan said successful a connection to Reuters.
November is besides a engaged period successful the diplomatic calendar, with the COP26 league owed successful Scotland, which has seen the Australian authorities upwind expanding unit from overseas governments and bequest media to instrumentality much enactment connected clime change.
The fallout from the AUKUS woody has dominated headlines successful caller weeks, with France adjacent withdrawing its ambassadors from Australia and the United States aft the government’s determination to sever the troubled Future Submarines Project with the French defence contractor, Naval Group, was announced.
The archetypal 2016 program was for Naval to person 12 of its Barracuda-class atomic submarines into diesel-electric powered Attack-class submarines fitted with U.S. weapons systems.
However, the ambitious task has been riddled with ongoing delays and outgo blowouts from archetypal estimates of AU$10 cardinal to AU$89.7 billion. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison estimated AU$2.4 cardinal (US$1.7 billion) had already been sunk into the task earlier operation had begun.
The AUKUS woody would spot Australia look to research the acquisition of 8 nuclear-powered submarines from the United States oregon the United Kingdom.
French ministers reacted angrily to the announcement, accusing Australia and the United States of “stabbing it successful the back” and recalling its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington D.C.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen besides questioned whether the incidental could impact a imaginable commercialized woody with Australia.
Australia was hoping a commercialized woody with the EU would springiness its exporters entree to a marketplace of 450 cardinal radical and cuts to tariffs protecting the commercialized bloc.