The axed $90 billion French submarine deal was “not the contract for Australia,” according to Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

It comes after French President Emmanuel Macron was asked by Australian journalists whether Scott Morrison had lied to him when cancelling the Naval Group’s submarines contract.

“I don’t think, I know,” Mr Macron said on Sunday.

Mr Joyce argued the problems with the contract were publicised in newspapers and Senate Estimates before it was cancelled.

“In contracts, part of the terms and conditions, you can get out of them if they’re not working out and this one was not the contract for Australia,” he told Sky News host Paul Murray.

“And it is our right, for our own sovereignty to be able to follow that through.

“We’ve got to move forward, move on.”

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