lørdag 2. oktober 2021

Australia told French submarine firm it didn’t have green light to proceed hours before deal cancelled

Australia cautioned the French contractor – hours before the $90bn submarine deal was cancelled – that its achievement of a key contractual milestone did “not provide any authorisation to continue work”. The letter, sent to Naval Group on 15 September, is at the heart of an extraordinary diplomatic rift between France and Australia, with the French foreign minister telling a parliamentary hearing this week that “someone lied”.

The Guardian can now publish the full letter, having obtained it under Australia’s freedom of information (FOI) laws. The defence department released the requested document to the Guardian on Saturday morning, several hours after the Australian newspaper published an article quoting portions of the letter.