» Thursday, June 21, 2007


Asked that when the Prime Minister said he was willing to walk away from the table if his red lines were not met, was this meant as a stronger expression than before to reassure Cabinet colleagues, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister’s words were precisely in line with what he has said in Parliament, and what he had said at the Liaison Committee. We needed to be sure that we have control of our home affairs and criminal justice system, that we retain control of our foreign policy, and that we are clear that there cannot be anything decided about our tax and social security policy. Those were our red lines, and the Prime Minister made that point very clearly.

Asked what the objective of the Merkel call was, the PMOS replied that in the run up to a Summit like this, frankly the more contact that there was, the better. This week the Prime Minister and the Chancellor had talked to President Sarkozy, and now to Chancellor Merkel. By any standards, they would both be influential figures at this Summit. In the run up to this Summit, the Prime Minister has talked to many different European leaders, including the Czech and Polish leaders, and many others.

Asked if his message to Chancellor Merkel was that if our red lines were not met then we would walk away, the PMOS replied that Chancellor Merkel was fully aware of our position, and fully aware of the limitations of our position. It was not just our view, but other people’s view as well, that we should be aiming for an amending treaty, not a constitutional treaty.

Asked if we shared Poland’s view on voting rights, the PMOS replied that the Polish Government had a position on voting rights, that was not our position.

Asked if we would be happy with an opt-out, the PMOS replied that he was not going to get into the detail of our negotiating position. The important thing was that everyone was clear in their understanding that we must retain control of our criminal justice system and our domestic law.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

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