» Friday, December 2, 2005


The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that Brazil, China, India and South Africa would be attending the finance minister's meeting of the G7 this weekend to try to re-energise the run-up to Hong Kong. We had received a proposal from President Lula of Brazil to consider the possibility of getting heads of Government together in advance of Hong Kong. That would depend on the outcome of this weekends G7 meeting and on what other governments thought, but we had told President Lula that we would consult on his proposal following the G7 meeting this weekend.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)

EU Budget

Asked what progress had been made on the EU budget, the PMOS said that in the past ten days we had had a chance to find out the views of a range of countries, whether it was Malta at CHOGM or the Baltic countries yesterday or central European countries and the one thing which was clear was that for the accession 10, above all, the important thing was to get an agreement now, not one or two years down the road. They needed that certainty and stability to plan their budgets and also they needed to be able to get at the money now. There were clearly questions about how that could be achieved and obviously concerning the size of the budget. No one was pretending that it was going to be easy. We were not coming out of this saying that we had a deal done, but we were coming out with a real sense of this determination to go for a deal in December and that was what we would do.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Duchy of Lancaster

Put to him that it was a month to the day since John Hutton had been made Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and his original post of Duchy of Lancaster still hadn't been filled, the PMOS pointed out that if journalists looked back over the last month it had been a rather eventful period and the Prime Minister had had one or two things on his mind. Of course we needed to push forward the work in the Cabinet Office and it was important work. When the Prime Minister did make his appointment that would be reflected in his decision. Asked if in the meantime we could give a salary to Minister for Women Meg Munn, the PMOS said that here position remained as it was.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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