» Monday, October 26, 2009

European Council

Asked whether there was a formal agenda for the upcoming meeting yet and would the subject of the EU President form part of the agenda, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that the formal agenda had not been confirmed. One of the big issues would be climate change finance and there would be discussions around economic matters as well.

Asked whether that meant the so-called top jobs issue would not be raised at all or whether it would be raised informally, the PMS said it was a matter of some interest for a lot of European leaders, but it was not on the formal agenda as far the PMS was aware. There had been discussion about the possibility of a one day separate summit in the future.

Asked if the Prime Minister was happy with that decision, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister was focussed on the agenda for the forthcoming council meeting. Climate change finance alone was a big issue.

Asked when the Prime Minister last spoke to Tony Blair, the PMS said he was unaware of the exact date but they did talk on a regular basis as people would expect.

Asked what the Prime Minister’s position was on Tony Blair becoming EU president, the PMS said that if the role was to be created and Tony Blair expressed his wish to be a candidate for that role, then the Prime Minister would be completely supportive.

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with the Foreign Secretary’s comments yesterday on ruling himself out of becoming the EU Foreign Minister, the PMS said the Prime Minister was delighted that the Foreign Secretary would continue to focus on doing the excellent job he does as Foreign Secretary. The Foreign Secretary had been clear on ruling himself out.

Asked if there were any other candidates the Prime Minister would be happy to see put forward, the PMS replied that Tony Blair was the only possible candidate the Prime Minister had expressed a view on. Asked if it was the Government’s view that it should go to a former Prime Minister, the PMS said that the Government had not expressed that view.

Asked how important it would be for the British people that the President was British, the PMS said that the most important thing for the British people and people across Europe was that we had the right person in the job. Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with the Foreign Secretary that the post should be a strong, powerful position, the PMS said we needed to see the exact job description, but clearly this was going to be an important role at the centre of Europe. It was a step-by-step process; we first needed the Treaty to be ratified and the role to be defined.

Asked if the Prime Minister would consult with other political parties if there was a need to put forward a candidate, the PMS said that the Prime Minister would want to make the decision that was in the best interest of the UK. What he would do in terms of consultation was not for the PMS to comment on at this stage.

Asked if the job description would be discussed at the meeting, the PMS replied that it was unlikely that they would get into that in the formal sessions. Asked why the Prime Minister signed up to the job being created if he didn’t know what it would entail, the PMS said that the principle of the role had been known for some time and that was President of the Council. The gating items for this included the approval of the treaty and an understanding of what the role would be.

Asked why the role was not marked out in the treaty, the PMS said that it was, but only in broad terms. The leaders would need to sit down and agree on what had been signed up to. Asked what the gaps were in terms of what was not understood about the role, the PMS said that he was making a general point about the process we had to get through before a decision could be made.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be holding bilaterals during the meeting, the PMS said that he wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case, but he would need to guide people on that later in the week.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


October 2009
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Sep   Nov »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh