» Tuesday, October 27, 2009

EU Presidency/Council

Asked if the Foreign Secretary had discussed Tony Blair’s potential candidacy for EU President at Cabinet, the PMS said that the Foreign Secretary had not mentioned Tony Blair during his presentation.

Asked if the Foreign Secretary mentioned the fact that the EU Council would be discussing preliminary ideas for the position of president, the PMS said that the EU Council agenda included institutional issues but we did not know whether that included a discussion on so-called top jobs . There was a court case in the Czech Republic today concerning the EU Treaty, which was an important step in the potential ratification process, but there was no indication that the EU Presidency was a specific agenda item for the EU Council.

Asked if there had been any discussion about Tony Blair at Cabinet, the PMS said that there had not been a discussion at Cabinet on potential candidacies for any role in the EU and there would not be until such time as the Lisbon Treaty was ratified. It was a hypothetical question.

Asked if there was any truth in the Guardian story that the Prime Minister had instructed officials to start lobbying for Tony Blair as EU President, the PMS said that there wouldn’t be any sense in the Prime Minister doing that given that the Treaty was not yet ratified and Tony Blair had not indicated whether or not he wanted to be a candidate. If Tony Blair did want to be a candidate then he would have the Prime Minister’s full support.

Put that that meant that the Guardian story was wrong, the PMS said that officials had not been asked to lobby for Tony Blair’s candidacy.

Asked if officials were sounding out the idea of Tony Blair as EU President, the PMS said that he did not know what officials might or might not be doing in consultation with Tony Blair, but the Prime Minister had not asked officials to lobby on Tony Blair’s behalf.

Asked how David Miliband felt about that as he had seemed to be supporting Tony Blair, the PMS said that David Miliband had been asked if he thought Tony Blair would be a good candidate and he had answered positively, which was not a surprise.

Asked if there were officials on standby to start lobbying if the Lisbon Treaty was ratified and Tony Blair put forward his candidacy, the PMS said that he would not get into hypotheticals.

Asked what the Prime Minister had said when asked by his counterparts around Europe what he thought of Tony Blair’s potential candidacy for the EU President job, the PMS said that the Prime Minister would support Tony Blair’s candidacy if he chose to become a candidate.

Asked what was on the agenda for the EU Council this week, the PMS said that climate finance, the economy and institutional issues were on the agenda at the moment but more details would be available nearer the time.

original source.

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

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