» Monday, July 16, 2007

Schengen Group

Asked following what had been said this morning about Schengen, wouldn't the easiest thing not be to join the Schengen group, the Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) replied that there were obvious disadvantages of joining Schengen, and nobody was suggesting that we went down that route. As we said this morning, in the interests of pursuing counter terrorism objectives, there was a case for better information and data sharing with the Schengen countries.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Chancellor Merkel

Asked what we were hoping to get out of this evening's meeting with Chancellor Merkel, the PMS replied that this would be their first opportunity to meet since the Prime Minister became the Prime Minister, although obviously they had met before. The meeting would therefore be quite introductory in tone. It was a meeting over dinner, so would probably go on for some time and be wide ranging. The meeting would cover live internal EU issues, no doubt there would be particular focus on climate change, and taking forward some of the issues from the German Presidency. They would also want to talk about where we were on the economic reform agenda within Europe, along with counter terrorism issues and development - a very broad discussion.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if the Prime Minister had any plans to meet President Putin, or any plans to speak to him, the PMS replied that they had spoken prior to him becoming Primer Minister, indeed they had met prior to him becoming Prime Minister, and clearly there had been contact with the Russian Government as you would expect. There were no plans for any future meetings, but obviously these things were kept under constant review.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if there had been any repercussions following the Lord Malloch-Brown interview, and had either the Foreign Secretary or the Prime Minister reprimanded him, and was the interview cleared in advance, the PMS replied would not get into internal governmental procedures. The Foreign Secretary made our position quite clear yesterday, as did the Prime Minister on Friday, and he had reminded all of his Cabinet colleagues of the importance of the bilateral relationship with America. A point that Mark Malloch-Brown agreed with, a point set out in his statement following his interview with the Telegraph.

Briefing took place at 15:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Ireland/Schengen Database

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMS) told journalists that the Prime Minister attached much importance to his visit to Northern Ireland so early in his premiership. He had a bilateral meeting with the Taoiseach as well as meetings with Dr. Paisley and Martin McGuiness, prior to the meeting of the British/Irish Council, where the main item on the agenda was strategic transport issues.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked what contact the Prime Minister had had with President Putin since coming to office, and had they discussed the Litvinenko case, the PMS replied that there was nothing to add to what had been said previously on this. There had been contact between the British and Russian Governments on this matter, but it was better to wait for the Foreign Secretary's statement later this afternoon.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

90 Days Detention

Asked if the Prime Minister was attracted to the notion put forward by Lord Carlile that detention should be open ended, the PMS said that what the Prime Minister was attracted to was listening to the concerns of the police. The president of ACPO Ken Jones had said today that there might be case for going beyond 28 days, but he had also emphasised that the police were making it clear that they had not and would not call for indefinite detention.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if the Government would give the US Justice Department everything they need to help their investigation with BAE Systems, the PMS said that this was a matter for BAE.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Housing Green Paper

Asked when we expected the Housing Green Paper to be published, and why was it delayed, the PMS replied that it was not delayed. The DCLG were organising a major conference next week for the local authorities who were interested in being part of the Growth Point Initiative and worked the Green Paper to coincide with that.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Alex Salmond

Asked if the Prime Minister would hold bilateral talks with the First Minister today, the PMS said that Alex Salmond was in Northern Ireland. The Prime Minister was at a meeting with the First Minister and they would no doubt exchange some words, but there would be plenty of opportunities to have further meetings and discussions in the period ahead. As the PMS said last week, we had very good co-operation with the Scottish Executive over the Glasgow terror incident, and we hoped that that level of co-operation could continue in the future.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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