» Tuesday, December 6, 2005

New Conservative Leader

Asked if the Prime Minister had any reaction to the election of David Cameron, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said there were none that he could speak of because it was party political. Asked if the Prime Minister was working hard on PMQs, the PMOS said that the last he saw he was working on other business, but no doubt he would turn his attention to PMQs later on as he normally did.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

EU Budget

Asked if the Prime Minister was pleased with the reactions to the budget proposals for the EU, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMOS) replied that the Prime Minister believed that people did accept that we had to put our money where our mouth was. That meant that we did have to pay our contribution to the costs of enlargement. What it did not mean, however, was that there would be a change in the rebate going to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the original fifteen member states until there was a fundamental change in the CAP. That had been our approach, along those principles and in that spirit, since 1999, and it remained our approach. In terms of the rest of Europe, we understood that it did pose difficult questions for other countries in Europe, and that it would not please everyone. However, what was made clear to the Prime Minister when we went to the Accession countries last week was that they would like a deal now. A deal would allow them to plan their budgets and organise the money they needed to develop their economies. We believed it was in our national interest because the sooner they became more prosperous, the sooner they grew as markets for our goods and services.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Rendition flights

Given Dr. Rice's assurances yesterday regarding rendition flights, was the Prime Minister happy to continue to allow them to use British airports, the PMOS said that Dr. Rice had given the assurances she had, the Foreign Secretary had responded, and the PMOS had nothing further to add.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

Pensions

Asked if there was any reaction to the criticism from the pensions industry about the u-turns on Share Incentive Plans, the PMOS said that the Treasury had been dealing with this matter and it was probably best if they continued to. The Chancellor had set out the position yesterday and the Prime Minister fully supported them.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Rendition

Asked if the Prime Minister had anything to add or say about the All Party Group set up to investigate whether Britain might have had knowledge of some of the CIA flights and extraordinary renditions, the PMOS said that he had set out the position, the Foreign Office had set it out and more importantly the Foreign Secretary had set it out yesterday following Dr Rice's comments. We had nothing further to add.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

World Leaders Meeting

Asked if any further preparation had been made on the World Leaders meeting ahead of the talks in Hong King, the PMOS replied that we were still considering the outcome of the G7 meeting, which was a worthwhile and viable meeting. As people could judge for themselves, there were still some differences, so we should consider the implications of that.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Incoming European Visits

Asked if there was anything new on the schedule for Thursday and Friday, the PMOS said on Thursday the meeting with the Prime Minister of Belgium would be at 8am, Portugal at 12pm, Finland at 1pm, Slovenia at 3pm, Sweden at 4pm, and the Netherlands at 7pm. Then on Friday there would be a phone call to Luxemburg at 9am, a meeting with the Prime Minister of Ireland at 11am, Greece at 1pm and Spain at 2pm. There were still others that may be fitted in but they were not yet confirmed. Asked if there was a time for speaking to the press, the PMOS said that we may do something at the end but we were still thinking about it.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Pensions

Asked if the revised figures in the Pre Budget Report yesterday about the long term costs of pensions meant that the Government thought Lord Turner's proposals could be affordable, the PMOS said the position on Lord Turner was set out by the Prime Minister last week. It had not changed.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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