» Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Informal European Council

Asked about the Prime Minister’s update to Cabinet on the Informal European Council meeting in Brussels, the PMS said it was in two main parts, regarding:

1. Growth and competitiveness
2. The intergovernmental agreement on fiscal union.

On the former, the Prime Minister had said there was positive discussion on matters including SMEs, jobs, and youth unemployment, offering an opportunity to learn from the experience of other countries for example, youth unemployment in Holland is comparatively low. The Prime Minister had detected a new recognition in the European Council that growth was a really important issue and a determination to do something about it.

Confirming, when asked, that there had been Cabinet agreement on the Prime Minister’s stance of reserving the UK’s position on the use of EU institutions, the PMS said that Cabinet agreed that this position would act as leverage so that the institutions were not used in other areas such as the Single Market.

Asked if there had been praise for the Prime Minister from the Liberal Democrats on this stance, the PMS said that the Deputy Prime Minister had spoken and agreed with the approach that had been taken.

Asked whether the Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions and for Northern Ireland had also taken part in this discussion, the PMS said they had.

When asked what co-operation could be expected between the Czech Republic and the UK on these legal issues, the PMS explained that the two countries had set out their own reasons for not signing up to the Treaty.

original source.

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

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