Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman says there was “no easy decision to make” for Prime Minister Scott Morrison in relation to the axed $90 billion French submarine deal.

“I’m rather sympathetic for the PM on this one,” Mr Newman told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“He was between a rock and a hard place.”

It comes as Mr Morrison has faced backlash while overseas about the decision to scrap the French submarine deal in favour of a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to be acquired under the AUKUS alliance.

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