» Tuesday, October 25, 2005

George Galloway

Asked if the row between George Galloway and the Senate committee might damage the special relationship, the PMOS said that there were some issues which one learned to stay out of. This was top of that list.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Informal EU Summit

Asked for further information about the Informal Summit arrangements, the PMOS said the Prime Minister would sum up where he believed the consensus was at the end of the meeting. As he said the morning, the proof of the pudding would be in the eating, in the sense that this was the start of two months' of really hard work to try and make the vision into a reality. The reality was a future financing deal, and also to clear the remaining dossiers. The test of whether Hampton Court worked in the medium to long terms would be the positions taken in the next two months.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Bird Flu

Asked if the Prime Minister was confident that DEFRA could handle the issue of Avian flu, the PMOS said that the important thing to recognise was that the quarantine procedures had actually worked. They did identify the bird and allow the appropriate action to be taken. Of course, as with anything, you looked back at the procedures and adapted accordingly, but the bottom line was that the current procedures had done their job.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Europe – Joint Briefing between London and Brussels

European Parliament and the Informal meeting at Hampton Court

The PMOS set out how the Prime Minister viewed his visit to the European Parliament tomorrow. It was important to set this in the context of our presidency as a whole. In June the Prime Minister had set out his positive vision of why and how he believed Europe had to be meet the challenge of globalisation. Modernizing the European social model. Tomorrow was in many ways a report back on what he had been doing since June, mapping out how we saw the next two months, which would be a hard two months and why we needed to move to the next stage in that two months.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Future Financing

Asked why there wouldn't be detailed discussions of the European budget at the informal meeting, the PMOS said that we had been very clear, as had the Commission, that we did not see the informal meeting as being about future financing. In terms of the position of new member states, we were fully aware and had been, as acknowledged in June, of their desire to try and get a settlement in December. What we had to do here was get the horse and cart in the right order. We had to agree the strategic vision and direction for Europe before we resolved how that was reflected in the budget. That was the proper way forward. That did not mean that we would try to sideline the issue of future financing in any way. It did however mean that we decided the parameters in which we approached that negotiation. Future financing would undoubtedly form a large part of the very hard work over the next two months.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Global Trade

Asked if the Prime Minister tomorrow would be setting out a strategic vision for global trade talks and try to break the deadlock in the Doha round on agriculture, the PMOS said that he thought that would be taking ambition a bit too far. The Prime Minister had stressed the importance of the Doha round time and again and the need to make progress. The details of negotiation were a matter for the Commission and that work was being carried on by the trade commissioner Peter Mandelson. In terms of the detailed negotiation, that was for the European Commission. Obviously though the Prime Minister was keeping a very close eye on developments within the WTO round and the need to keep moving forward. We were entering in to a very significant period of the WTO round and we would do everything we could to make sure that worked, because it was essential it did work as the Prime Minister had said on many occasions.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

EU Constitution and the Abatement

Asked about what progress the Prime Minister hoped to make on the EU constitution and the UK's abatement, the PMOS said that he doubted that the constitution would be discussed this week and our position on that is as it was. On the abatement, the Prime Minister had said in June, that the abatement was on the table but in the context of overall reform of the budget. That hadn't changed. These were not issues for the informal summit.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

» Monday, October 24, 2005

Counter-Terrorism

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with the Delivery Unit that the UK's counter-terrorism strategy was immature, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that first of all we should recognise what action had been taken on counter-terrorism in the period since 9/11. By 2007 we will have doubled expenditure to over £2billion. We have already introduced a range of counter-terrorism legislation and were currently introducing more counter-terrorism legislation.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Smoking Ban

Asked for an update on smoking, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that he had no reason to believe anything had changed.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

Birmingham Disturbances

Asked for a response to the violence in Birmingham on Saturday in which a man was killed, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister was obviously keenly aware of what went on in Birmingham and was also keenly appreciative of the efforts of the police and those in the community wjo had responded to the situation. He commended the efforts of both the police and those in the community who were working to resolve matters. Obviously he couldn't go into further detail because of the ongoing investigation.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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