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Anglo-Canadian Naval Cooperation Stalls Over ‘Global Combat Ship’ Debate

The coalition government’s recent public disclosure that they were in consultation with the Canadians over joint warship design has arrested a potential deal which could have created hundreds of high technology engineering jobs in both countries.

“The global combat ship frigate programme does indeed present a tremendous opportunity for the United Kingdom to put the policy into practice. I am delighted to say that we are in close discussion with the Canadians”, stated Gerald Howarth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence, to the House of Commons in January.

Be it naivety or hubris, Gerald Howarth’s disclosure, on 31 Jan 2011, that Canada was in close partnership with the UK dropped a boulder into the Canadian political pond and stalled further progress in what was predicted to be a mutually beneficial venture. Yet this need not have been the case had his Canadian counterpart directly addressed two potential public flashpoints “ saving Canadian dollars versus saving Canadian jobs.

Peter Mackay’s failure to articulate the arguments for collaboration to both the media and unions was yet another hiccup in what many have come to refer to as a less-than-consistent political tenure – and ran counter to much he had said in support of Canadian collaboration with the US over the JSF F-35 project.

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One response to “Anglo-Canadian Naval Cooperation Stalls Over ‘Global Combat Ship’ Debate

  1. Luc Plamondon March 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    Wow, what a strange conclusion: that it was Peter MacKay`s failure as Canadian defence minister to explain an idea floated by the UK. It was UK high commissioner Andrew Pocock who dropped the idea in Canada, taking Canadian politicians completely by surprise and leaving no wriggle room. MacKay represents a shipbuilding province in the cabinet — a fact that seems to have escaped Pocock and the gossipy set at the UK high conmmission. Maybe a comms plan before opening of mouths would have been an idea to consider. Just saying

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