» Tuesday, June 19, 2007

European Union

Asked what we were seeking to change, other than the name, in the role of the EU Foreign Minister, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that we were seeking for an EU Foreign Minister to be answerable to the Council, and that it was clear it was an inter-governmental role rather than being answerable to the Commission. But we were also clear that there should be nothing that diluted in any way, our ability to set our own foreign and defence policy. Asked what we wanted to call this role, the PMOS replied that we would not be getting into the detail of negotiations. The key point was that this person was answerable to the Heads of Government, as represented in the European Council.

Put that in the last treaty it was also the case that the Foreign Minister would be answerable to the Council, and had this changed since, the PMOS replied that it had not. All that had changed was that some people had raised this question, and we wanted reassurances that this was the case. Like much of this debate, it was about making sure that people were reassured that certain myths did not have any bearing in reality.

Asked if there would be translation or whether the Prime Minister’s linguistic skills would come into play during the Sarkozy phone call, the PMOS replied that he thought there would be a translator present on the call. Some of the technical detail in these exchanges on Europe would defy most people’s linguistic skill, certainly his own included, which were non-existent.

Put that Geoff Hoon had mentioned at lunchtime that he was unsure whether he was going to the Council, and asked if he would be, the PMOS replied that this was a matter for the Foreign Office.

Put that despite the red lines set out by the Prime Minister, there would be concessions on QMV in other areas, the PMOS replied that we would not be getting into details of negotiations. It was important that we set out clearly what the red lines were, and that we look at the substance. In issues of criminal law, in issues of tax and benefits, issues of foreign and defence policy, we will retain control over our own affairs.

Asked if the Foreign Secretary would be attending, the PMOS replied that she would be as the Foreign Secretary always attends.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


June 2007
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« May   Jul »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh