Emmanuel Macron Scott Morrison France Submarines
French President Emmanuel Macron and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Image: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)

When Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton held 2+2 consultations with their French counterparts three weeks ago it was business as usual on the submarines front.

"Both sides committed to deepen defence industry cooperation and enhance their capability edge in the region. Ministers underlined the importance of the Future Submarine program," a statement released says.

All the gushing talk of deepening cooperation, a historically close strategic partnership, shared values and principles, gave no indication that for the past 18 months the Morrison government had been working towards screwing over the French.