A joint conference held at the UK embassy in Paris explored ways the two countries could bolster their digital defences
France and Britain put aside their Brexit difficulties to form a digital alliance
Britain and France have vowed to put their Brexit differences aside at a joint conference on cybersecurity at the UK’s embassy in Paris on Tuesday.
The one-day event, designed to explore opportunities for Franco-British commercial, academic and research collaboration in the cybersphere, focused on ways the two countries could bolster their digital defences.
In a speech delivered at the conference, Britain’s Digital Minister Matt Hancock said that it was important to retain ties even after the UK exits the European Union in 2019.
“Whatever challenges we face in the future, with our strong partnership and talent in the UK and France, I know that we will always work to ensure the prosperity of our two countries,” he told delegates.
“We are neighbours. Neighbours here, neighbours today, neighbours tomorrow. Always neighbours.”
Britain’s GCHQ revealed the country was hit by nearly significant 600 cyber-attacks in one year, which included the WannaCry attack on the National Health Service in May and Iran’s cyber-attack on Parliament in June.
While in France, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign was targeted by hackers, alleged to be from a prolific Russian group, just days before the presidential election in May.
Mr Hancock, who was appointed in his role at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in July 2016, said it was imperative nations work together to combat such cyber-attacks.
“It’s crucial we work with our international partners: working closely with them, sharing information, and facing challenges together - because our security is inextricably linked,” he said.
“We are working to make the UK the best and most secure digital economy in the world. To that end, we will ensure our friends’ and our partners’ cyber safety whenever and however they do business with us.”