§ Dr. Julian Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent co-operation there has been between units of the Royal Navy and of the French Navy. 
§ Mr. Ingram
Royal Navy and French Navy ships are occasionally attached to our respective Task Group deployments on a purely bilateral basis. The most recent attachments were those of FS Primauguet to the Naval Task Group (NTG) 2003 between 17 to 29 January 2003 and the French Minehunter, FS Cassiopee, to a Royal Navy Mine Countermeasure Group between 21 January to 7 March 2003. This followed the attachment of FS Aconit during the NTG 2000 deployment which built on the successful integration of HMS Somerset, followed by HMS Grafton, in the French Task Group during operations in the Adriatic in 1999. Such integration between our naval forces is considered routine business.