Put to him by the Telegraph that the Prime Minister had seemed a bit grumpy this morning, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said no he had not been grumpy. The Prime Minister had in fact enjoyed the opportunity to disagree with the line taken by the Daily Telegraph and had put the case very strongly. He felt very strongly that if you did believe in enlargement then you should pay your fair share in doing so. That had been the foundation of our approach, not only to enlargement but to the budget deal as a whole.
Asked to comment on President Barroso’s suggestion of a "European tax" to avoid future arguments over the budget, the PMOS said that as the Prime Minister had said at his press conference earlier, firstly traditionally the UK position had not been receptive to such an idea. Secondly he didn’t want to comment any further because he had "enough trouble without adding to it further." The PMOS took the opportunity to highlight, given the degree of scepticism from some quarters about the main focus of the budget review, that Mr Barroso had said explicitly on the record that his review could result in changes in the EU budget in the period 2010 – 1013. That was specifically what we had been saying all along and that meant that change was possible.
Asked if the Prime Minister had discussed the EU budget developments with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the PMOS said that he did give not give a running commentary on conversations between ministers. The Government as a whole has of course discussed all relevant matters.
Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news
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