» Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Morning press briefing from 8 Feb 2012

Wednesday 8 February 2012

The Falkland Islands, Syria and Business in the UK were discussed at this press briefing session.


Asked whether the Foreign Secretary had held talks with the Russian Foreign Secretary and the Qatari PM on Syria, the PMOS said that the Foreign Secretary had held talks with the Qatari PM but had not yet discussed Syria with the Russian Foreign Secretary.

Falkland Islands

Asked whether the PM was concerned about the Argentine intention to complain to the UN over the apparent Falkland Islands militarisation, the PMOS said that ultimately the UK position of self determination for the Falklands was consistent with the UN charter. The people of the Falklands choose to be British, it is up to Argentina whether they lodge a complaint to the UN but the Government is not militarising the South Atlantic.

Asked whether the Government was going to hold a referendum for the Falklands, the PMOS said that it was a matter for the Falkland Islands but they had not signalled they wanted a referendum.

Asked whether the UK had a right to the oil around the Falkland Islands, the PMOS referred the journalist to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Asked whether the UK should make an official statement on the deployment of MOD assets around the Falklands, the PMOS said that the position had been clear and that there was no militarisation.

Asked whether there was any contingency planning for if the situation does become militarised, the PMOS said that the key point was that there was no suggestion that the UK needed to increase its military presence or deploy more military assets to the region. There are already a range of military assets in the region and the Government does have contingency plans that have always been in place.

Abu Qatada

Asked whether the PM agreed with the Justice Sectretary’s comments on Abu Qatada’s bail, the PMOS said that the Justice Secretary was making a technical point about Abu Qatada’s bail ruling and that the Government’s position had been set out by the Home Secretary.

Government voting

Asked what the PM thought of Conservative MP calls for the Minister for Children and Families to stand down for not supporting a Government vote, the PMOS said the Minister was away on Government business at the time the vote took place and that as a Government Minister, she supports the Government’s policies.

Health reforms

Asked how the PM felt about the Health reforms, the PMOS said that his position had not changed. The proposed changes to the NHS were based on what NHS staff had consistently asked for and they were in the best interests of patient care.

Asked whether the Government were expecting more amendments by the House or Lords when the Bill is put to them again, the PMOS said she would not speculate on the passage of the Bill.

Business in UK

Asked whether the PM agreed there was a danger of an anti-business culture developing in the UK, the PMOS said that the PM agreed with the Chancellor’s comments made the evening before at the Confederation of Small Businesses’ event. The country needs a strong free market economy, but it must address national debt and long term stability to help business grow. Addressing the Eurozone was key for businesses in the UK and the Government was focussed on seeking a resolution to Eurozone challenges.

Asked whether the PM thought the removal of Fred Goodwin’s knighthood and the pressure on Stephen Hester to waive his bonus was improving the business environment, the PMOS said that the PM’s view on both of those separate issues was clear.

original source.

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

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