EU environment plan 'putting 20,000 defence jobs at risk'
BRITAIN risks losing £5billion worth of defence contracts to France amid a looming EU trade war.
The two countries are bidding to sell fighter jets and other kit to Malaysia in a deal which would safeguard 20,000 jobs.
But the move has been thrown into jeopardy to ban imports of palm oil from the would-be buyers.
Malaysian minister Mah Siew Keong has branded it a hate campaign and has threatened a tit-for-tat boycott of European goods.
France, which wants to sell its own Rafale fighters to Kuala Lumpur, has outflanked Britain by promising to oppose the EU ban.
Mr Mah travels to Britain this week to demand our support but his arrival has sparked a Cabinet rift.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove supports the ban on palm oil the worst driver of deforestation which causes climate change while Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has vowed to put jobs first.
British firms who could be hit by an EU-Malaysia trade war include BAE, which makes the Typhoon and its weapons and has sales of £4billion at stake. Also in the firing line is Leonardo, which operates out of eight centres and wants to sell its AW150 helicopters t....