Malcolm Turnbull has accused Scott Morrison of ruining Australia’s reputation for trustworthiness and endangering national security, in a vehement attack on the prime minister’s handling of the cancellation of the French submarine contract.
Turnbull also revealed that he had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron since the truce with France – describing him as a friend and “a very important figure in global politics”. Macron has refused to take Morrison’s call, after the government effectively canceled the contract without notice.
Turnbull declined to go into details of Macron’s response in his call, but indicated French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who accused Australia of stabbing France in the back, “not just speaking up for itself.” Had been”.
“France believes she has been deceived and humiliated – and she was,” Morrison told the National Press Club. “This betrayal of trust will affect our relations with Europe for years.
“The Australian government has treated the French Republic with contempt. It will not be forgotten. Every time we try to persuade another nation to trust us, someone will say, ‘Remember What did they do to Macron? If they could throw France down on a bus, what would they do to us?'”
Turnbull said that when Morrison did something domestically that was criticized as slippery or fraudulent, it reflected on him and the government, but “when you behave in such a deceitful manner internationally.” So it has a real impact on Australia.”
“It seems to have been overlooked that one of our national security assets is trustworthiness,” Turnbull said. Morrison’s fans were praising him for his “clever agility”, but it was “a catastrophic event in Australia’s international affairs” and the consequences “will bear our loss for a very long time”.
Read more: Watch from The Hill: AUKUS deal is on for Morrison, ignore specifics
Turnbull said anyone who raised unresolved questions about the AUKUS deal for nuclear-powered subscriptions was essentially accused of being non-patriotic.
“I can tell you, I can’t find any lectures on patriotism from Scott Morrison. I have defended this country’s national security and its national interest and I know the way he has behaved threatens it.” putting in.”
Turnbull said Morrison defended his conduct by saying it was in Australia’s national interest. “So, is this Mr Morrison’s moral standard with which Australia is now tagged: Australia will act honestly until it is judged to have betrayed our national interest?”
The government should have been honest and open about its quest to acquire nuclear submarines – those that produce nuclear submarines. Turnbull said Macron would have been helpful.
“Suppose the conclusion after this discussion was that only a US or UK submarine would do. If the contract was terminated at that time, no one could say that Australia was dishonest or cowardly. France would be disappointed, But there will be no betrayal, disrespect or humiliation,” Turnbull said.
“Morrison’s response is to say that he cannot be open and honest with Macron because the French may have moved to Washington and urged Biden not to make a deal. That tells you a lot about how confident he is about the commitment of Americans.”
Turnbull said that despite its “strange birth” he hoped AUKUS was “a huge success”. it must be. We’re already the closest friends and allies – no one closer.”
Turnbull leaves for Glasgow
Turnbull reveals he will attend Glasgow climate conference
Asked what message it would send if Morrison didn’t go (the Prime Minister has indicated he might not), Turnbull said: “History is made by those who come forward. decide not to go […] His absence will send a very strong message about his priorities. This is an important conference.”
Pressed to raise Australia’s current 26-28% 2030 emissions reduction target, Turnbull said there were a lot of scientists who said it should be 70%, but it should be at least 45% or 50% .
He was concerned about whether he would support climate-focused independents in the election if the government did not create a satisfactory climate policy. Still a member of the Liberal Party, he said “I have not made a decision about this”. “I’ll wait and see, I reserve my rights, as they say.”
The NSW government this week raised its 2030 emissions reduction target to 50% from its previous target of a 35% reduction.
Read more: Grattan on Friday: After security deal, Scott Morrison turns to climate change
Morrison is in talks with national leader Barnaby Joyce for the Glasgow convention to adopt net zero by 2050.
At odd times on Wednesday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is paving the way for the 2050 net zero goal, and National Senate leader Bridget McKenzie, who took a swipe at Frydenberg this week, appeared jointly. They were talking about the coming end of COVID disaster payouts, but essentially about climate policy being put on the spot.
Mackenzie wrote in his opinion in the Australian Financial Review: “It is easy for a member of the Kuyong [Frydenberg] or members of Wentworth [Dave Sharma] To publicly embrace net zero before the position of the government, as there would be zero real impact on the way of life of their affluent constituents”.
Asked about this, Frydenberg said: “Climate change has no pin code. Climate change is a global challenge that requires a national solution.”
He said the government is having “very positive and constructive internal discussions. Not everyone will agree on everything.”
“But it should not be seen as a binary choice between regions and jobs. It should not be seen as a binary choice between city voters or suburban voters and regional voters.
“When you reduce emissions according to a well-thought-out, funded plan, you actually create jobs.”
Mackenzie said one message in his opinion was to challenge the notion that “rural and regional Australians are anti-climate and the National Party is anti-climate-caring.”
His second message was that “we have one thing to do in the National Party and that is to stand up for our constituents and industries that not only advance our own local economies, but actually advance our national economy”. .
“And the third message was that in this very serious debate, there are MPs, Josh is not one of them, Sharma is not one of them, but there are MPs who want to remain calm. On climate change, there are MPs, Want to be popular without really understanding and evaluating and evaluating the consequences of these decisions.”