Scott Morrison has defended his line of diplomacy with the French at the G20 summit over the recently abandoned submarine deal.
This comes after French President Emmanuel Macron accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of lying about a $90 billion submarine contract whilst attending the G20 summit in Rome.
Morrison claims he had raised concerns when the leaders met in June about time delays and cost blowouts in the contract.
“After our dinner that night, the French defence system swung into full action and engaged in a full-court press with all of our officials and others, including the Defence Minister and others,” Morrison told reporters at a shipyard in Glasgow.
US president Joe Biden also weighed in on the issue, labelling the handling of the deal as “clumsy” in the wake of the new AUKUS security partnership between Australia, Britain and the US, announced in September.
This new security partnership will give Australia access to the highly sought after nuclear submarine technology that both Britain and the US possess.
I ask French President Emmanuel Macron whether Scott Morrison lied to him: “I don’t think, I know.” pic.twitter.com/3tcg4xrl90
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) October 31, 2021
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who initially brokered the deal with the French for the attack class submarine, has labelled Morrison’s conduct as “shameful”.
“Scott Morrison should apologise because he did very elaborately and duplicitously deceive France,” he said.
Turnbull continued his statement at The National Press Club of Australia: “We had a relationship of the deepest trust and confidence with France, France shared with us some of their most secret technology on submarines.”
Whilst Morrison did his best to deflect the comments, acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce threw his two cents in.
“We didn’t steal an island. We didn’t deface the Eiffel Tower. It was a contract,” Mr Joyce said. “And contracts have terms and conditions, and one of those terms and conditions and propositions is that you might get out of the contract.”