» Wednesday, August 31, 2005

EU & China trade negotiations

Asked about the Prime Minister's view of the current trade negotiations between the EU and China, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) pointed out that the European Commission was the sole negotiator in these circumstances, not the Presidency. That was the case for any trade issue. The role of the Presidency was to support the Commission and to be aware of the overall mood and overall position throughout the EU, and there would be a variety of different positions towards such a dispute within the EU as a whole. Our basic attitude to free trade and our support for it were well known. However we recognised that there were implications for particular countries and producers which meant that transitional arrangements had to be made. In terms of the negotiations themselves he would not give a running commentary. In saying that he would point out that this issue was a precise illustration of those problems the Prime Minister articulated in his speech in Brussels on Europe.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (6)

Law and order

Asked about the Prime Minister's concerns with respect to Law and Order given the spate of recent well publicised violent crime, the PMOS said that, as we had said many times, we had to keep the actual level of crime in perspective.  It was going down. That did not diminish the concern towards individual outrages as we had seen and they will be investigated fully. The Prime Minister had put anti-social behaviour right at the centre of his agenda. That would continue to be the case and he would be addressing that later this week with an emphasis on the Government's respect agenda. He would not preview that now.

Briefing took place at 13:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (12)

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