» Wednesday, June 20, 2007

EU Summit

Asked if there was any more information about talks or consultations over the summit, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the conversation between President Sarkozy, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor was the last conversation with an EU leader that he was aware of on the summit.

Asked if the Prime Minister and the Chancellor were in the same room for the phone call with President Sarkozy yesterday, the PMOS replied that they were.

Asked for further details about the call, and what impact would it have over the next few days, the PMOS said that the important thing was that we and the French were not only fully aware of each other’s position, but also, working towards the same broad goal of an amended treaty. Obviously, there were particular differences in detail, but that was to be expected. As the PMOS had said this morning, the important thing was, and nobody should be in any doubt about the fact that there would be some hard discussions to be had, as well as some hard negotiation at the summit.

Asked how many shirts the Prime Minister was packing, the PMOS said that there were some personal details he did not enquire into!

Asked if we were expecting a late night on Friday, the PMOS replied that the reality was, and we had been at the sharp end of this in the budget negotiations, that people could think that it was going to be protracted and suddenly it became shorter. Equally, it could become the opposite, as with the budget negotiations, and it ended up finishing at 4am. It was impossible to predict with any certainty.

Asked if the Prime Minister had any plans for bilaterals before the formal meetings, the PMOS said there were no plans, but these things tended to develop their own momentum, as people would meet round the edges of the table etc.

Asked when the Prime Minister had last spoken to Chancellor Merkel, the PMOS replied when they last met ten days ago.

Asked if the Prime Minister would consult the Chancellor as the summit was going along, the PMOS replied that it was difficult to predict what would happen. The past precedent was that of course, colleagues were kept informed as they went along before the summit and if necessary, during it. Again, that was not something that could be predicted.

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

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