Asked what the Prime Minister thought about the RMT’s plans to hold a strike at the same time as the Live 8 event, the PMOS said it was up to the RMT to justify and to explain its actions, we had always made it clear that we believed that the Live 8 event was a significant event and everybody should do everything they could to reflect that significance. Their actions should be judged against that standard.
Put to him that Margaret Beckett had said yesterday that she didn’t expect to get a deal on climate change at Gleneagles, the PMOS said he didn’t agree with that summary of what Margaret Becket had said. We should be clear about what we had always aimed for, as we had set out at the White House. We had always recognised that the United States had taken a position, including during the previous administration, supported by Congress, that it did not accept Kyoto. We did agree with Kyoto but the United States did not. That was the position. What we also recognised however was that the US spent more on R&D in respect of climate change, and on alternative energy research than any other country. They might approach it from a different angle but if we could all converge on the need to tackle the issue and tackle it urgently, then that was the approach that we would adopt. We might have a different view on the science but what matters was what happened as a result of Gleneagles. Negotiations were still continuing but the important thing was that those negotiations were taking place, we were continuing to make progress and we should see where we ended up. The other important thing to underline was that what was important about Gleneagles was that it was not just about the G8, it also brought into play the 5 emerging economies, India,China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa and they were not an integral part of the Kyoto process. It was important that they became part of the consensus on how we moved forward because they were going to be a very important part of the world economy and therefore a very important part, both in terms of the demand on energy supplies but also in terms of the problem of climate change. Asked if we were concerned about the fact that we did not seem to have a final agreement yet, the PMOS said he didn’t see why anyone would be surprised at that. Gleneagles was still a week away, we always said that negotiations would continue right up Gleneagles, that would be the case. Therefore we were working very hard. We were making progress but we were not there yet. That was our position.
Asked about whether we considered CAP reform to be crucial to our G8 objectives, the PMOS said that we had always linked CAP reform with our approach to the WTO, that should not be seen as anything new. There was the WTO round and that was a process in and of itself, that was where the focus in terms of trade negotiations was. We had continually underlined that, in terms of Africa, that it was about aid and that was very very important, it was also about debt relief and that was important, but it was also about trade. You shouldn’t dismiss two legs of the stool and concentrate on the one, we needed to keep moving forward on all areas in the various ways we could. In terms of the G8 we were seeing progress of aid and debt relief and on the WTO we believe there should be movement in terms of trade. We needed to keep moving forward.
Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news
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