The third briefing report from the BASIC Trident Commission focuses on the nuclear relationship between the United Kingdom and France, and the two countries’ attempts at nuclear cooperation. Written by Dr. Bruno Tertrais, this report evaluates lessons from past cooperation attempts between London and Paris and investigates the impact of present arrangements. As the two European members of NATO with nuclear weapons, both nations advocate expanding their cooperation and strengthening deterrence as a contribution to overall European security. Dr. Tertrais concludes that further nuclear cooperation between the UK and France is possible but constrained by a number of factors, including the close relationship between the UK and the US. The deepening of cooperation also requires strong and continued political will on both sides, a common interest in cooperating, and the absence of US opposition. Tertrais argues that the more the two countries cooperate, the more flexibility they will have in reducing nuclear expenses and their respective nuclear forces. However, such moves would increase the difficulty of taking unilateral steps towards disarmament.
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