» Thursday, May 26, 2005


The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) spoke to journalists about the Cabinet meeting that morning. It began with the Cabinet discussing in some detail the Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan last night. The Prime Minister described it as brilliant victory for Liverpool. Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey had telephoned to send his congratulations. The Cabinet then went on to discuss the Olympics and Tessa Jowell updated colleagues on where we were and yesterday’s meeting with Lord Coe and Ken Livingstone. Tessa Jowell and Dick Caborn would be visiting some 14 countries between them over the next 6 weeks. This gave some idea of the seriousness with which we were taking this. The Prime Minister re-iterated his view of yesterday that the bid team led by Seb Coe and Tessa Jowell had done a fantastic job.

Jack Straw had also updated colleagues on yesterday’s E3 meeting with Iran in Geneva, and the outcome of that, which was that the E3 would put proposals to Iran again sometime in the mid summer.

There was then an overall discussion on Europe, which obviously touched on the possible implications of referendum results. It also included the Chancellor putting forward his proposals which were published this morning on economic reform which he’ll be putting to a meeting of the finance ministers shortly. Those proposals were designed to meet the challenge of globalisation. He said that he hoped there would be a genuine national consensus here as well as a debate on Europe. It was indicative of our pro-active approach to our presidency, when we took it over. He received very strong support from his Cabinet colleagues for that.

Finally Hilary Benn updated colleagues on the very welcome announcement by EU development ministers that EU aid would be doubled.

Asked if the Cabinet discussed the possibility of a ‘no’ vote in the French referendum on the EU Constitution, the PMOS said that he would specify any particular referenda that Cabinet discussed. But there had been an overall discussion about Europe of which part was obviously a discussion about the implications of upcoming votes. The overall discussion had been led by the Prime Minister and at various times many Cabinet colleagues had contributed. Obviously that included the Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, the Minister for Europe but also the DPM and other colleagues. The Cabinet were making no assumptions about the outcome of the referendum because it had not yet taken place.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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