See here. Britain and France signed a mutual defense pact that included shared use of aircraft carriers, a 10,000-man joint expeditionary force, and shared R&D on nuclear weapons. This is really big deal. Can anyone think of a case where something like this has been done outside of political union?
The reason offered up by the commentators, and Cameron and Sarkozy themselves, is cost-cutting in times of budget crisis, but if they really are capable of coordinating their defense policies this ought to extend their geopolitical reach. Given that collectively they spend about half the EU’s total military expeditures it would seem like this agreement would be a natural starting point to an eventual common military policy for the EU. And that would be a major step in the rise of a united Europe as a military power, in addition to their economic strength.
How this agreement works will be worth watching.