» Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Asked for an outline of what the Prime Minister would be doing in Brussels tomorrow, the PMS said he would be meeting President Barroso and other Commissioners. The Prime Minister would also meet Prime Minister Verhofstadt of Belgium. The main items on the agenda would be the economy, international development issues, the environment and global security issues. Asked if he was seeing all the Commissioners, the PMS replied that he had a meeting with Mr Mandelson and he was having lunch with a wider group of Commissioners.

Asked when he thought Britain would nominate the next Commissioner, the PMS said that we were still some way away from that and he thought it would be 2009. It was not something under active consideration.

Asked if the subject of Tony Blair was expected to be raised, the PMS advised people to wait and see what happened at the meeting. This was very early days in relation to the appointment of the EU President.

Asked if the PMS expected any discussion of Kosovo and was this the first time the Prime Minister and Mr Barroso would be having lengthy discussions, the PMS said that Mr Barroso had come to Downing Street in early October, so they had had a lengthy bilateral meeting then.

Asked how long the meeting between the Prime Minister and Mr Mandelson would last and whether the subject of Northern Rock would be discussed, the PMS said that he would not be getting into how long the Prime Minister would be spending with each person. On the subject of Northern Rock, it was still an early stage of the process, so we would not anticipate any substantive discussion. The next stage in the process would be for Northern Rock to devise and then submit its business plan and that would then form the basis for any substantive engagement with the Commission.

Asked when Mr Mandelson and the Prime Minister last had a one-to-one conversation, the PMS said they were in contact with each other.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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