» Thursday, October 18, 2007

PM’s schedule

The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) began by telling the assembled press about the Prime Minister’s schedule while in Lisbon. The Prime Minister was currently in a meeting of the European Socialists. Following that, he would be having bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Socrates of Portugal and Prime Minister Prodi of Italy.

The PMS then gave a brief outline of how things stood at that current moment. As had been said earlier in the week by the Foreign Secretary, the Government’s view was that the current draft of the treaty secured all the UK’s red lines. The Government would be remaining cautious until the meeting had been concluded, but there had been nothing during the course of the day so far, to suggest that there had been any attempt to reopen any of the red lines.

The Prime Minister wrote to Prime Minister Socrates, copied to other Heads of Government yesterday, setting out his view that once the discussions on the treaty were concluded, it would be time to end this long period of inward looking institutional debate that had characterised European discussion in recent years and get the focus back onto issues that affected real people in Europe. There would be further discussion of this tomorrow. The PMS added that the International Monetary Fund had announced yesterday that forecasts for growth had been reduced in the major economies, with the IMF downgrading the forecast for the US from 2.9% to 1.9% and also downgrading growth in the G7 and Euro areas, including the UK.

With growth slowing in the US next year, the Prime Minister’s view was that it was even more important for Europe to show leadership on economic policy matters and in three areas inparticular. Firstly, by pushing ahead with the economic reforms, including a positive and coherent response to the challenges of globalisation. Secondly with Europe leading the talks on the reinvigoration of the trade deal and thirdly, strengthening cooperation in Europe, in the light of work undertaken by the Financial Stability Forum, on measures to promote stability in financial markets, inparticular, enhancing transparency in financial markets in relation to issues such as debt, risk management and other issues.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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