European Council meeting/UK Rebate
Asked if there was a Government response to President Chirac’s comments about the British rebate, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that if anyone cared to type the words : President Chirac; rebate; a Summit into Google they would find that President Chirac had said similar things before at summits, but the British Government’s position had not changed. If there had been a transcript of the proceedings from the European Council from the last 24 hours, it would show that it was not mentioned once, neither at dinner last night, nor at this morning’s session.
Put to the PMOS that this issue had to be sorted out, "one way or the other" in the next year or so, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Secretary had said we were quite prepared to argue our case, but given the differential contributions, not least from France itself, we believed that the rebate was justified.
Asked for clarification about Jack Straw’s comments about using the veto to defend the rebate, the PMOS replied that our position was very clear. He said again that we believed the rebate was justified and we would argue for it in discussions. It was a matter of fact that we had a veto over any decision on this matter.
Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news
Original PMOS briefings are © Crown Copyright. Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland. Click-use licence number C02W0004089. Material is reproduced from the original 10 Downing Street source, but may not be the most up-to-date version of the briefings, which might be revised at the original source. Users should check with the original source in case of revisions. Comments are © Copyright contributors. Everything else is © Copyright Downing Street Says.
Contact Sam Smith.