» Monday, December 14, 2009


The PMS gave a briefing on the Prime Minister’s priorities for Copenhagen and confirmed that he would be going to the summit tomorrow and planned to stay there until negotiations were completed on Friday. The Prime Minister’s view was that these negotiations could not wait until the last minute and believed that we had learned the lessons from G20; it took leadership to get involved and try and pull together what was required as soon as possible.

Asked if the Prime Minister was going early because he felt a deal was slipping from people’s grasp, the PMS said that he wouldn’t characterise it as that. The Prime Minister had said that one of the lessons of G20 which had had a very successful outcome, was that people had to start early and he had re-prioritised his diary to make sure he could put the time in required to shape the next few days.

Asked if the Prime Minister saw his role as being central to the outcome of the summit, the PMS said that the Prime Minister was not seeking to push himself forward, but he had taken the personal view that leaders, where possible, should get there early. One of the lessons of G20 was that it did take one or more world leaders to put real effort and energy into the process to get as much done as possible before the final negotiations.

Asked if the Prime Minister had asked other world leaders to get to the summit early, the PMS said that he had not. The Prime Minister would not take the view that it was for him to ask people to come early, but it was interesting to see leaders such as Prime Minister Rudd and some of the African leaders to committing to arriving at the summit early this week.

Asked what the Prime Minister thought would be the biggest stumbling block to a deal, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister thought that the key to securing a deal was partly about the individual negotiations that needed to take place and partly about the balance between insuring that the views and requirements of developing countries were married with those of the developed countries. Until we got into the real detail of this it was difficult to be more specific, but the Prime Minister remained optimistic. We were still talking about a political agreement rather than a legal agreement.

Asked if the Prime Minister agreed with Tony Blair that an agreement based on slightly less ambitious targets was a better way forward, the PMS said that the Prime Minister’s view had always been that there should be ambitious targets and that continued to be his view.

Asked when the Prime Minister had changed his plans and why had he not always planned to go on Tuesday if the talks were so critical, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had been the first world leader to say that he would go at all. The PMS said it was not for him to say publicly when the Prime Minister had decided to go on Tuesday.

Asked what specific role the Prime Minister would be playing, the PMS replied that we had made our view clear on the financial element of the European package, which was 1.5billion. Negotiations were entirely dependent on what was on the table and what the detail was, but the Prime Minister believed he could play a role with individual leaders and with blocks of countries where appropriate with Africa being a good example of that.

Asked if the Prime Minister would still attend the meeting in Paris on Congo Basin countries, the PMS said that the intention was that the Prime Minister would find a way of making a contribution to that virtually if it went ahead.

original source.

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

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