» Thursday, October 20, 2005

Avian Flu meeting

Asked about the Prime Minister's Avian Flu meeting the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that the National Farmers' Union (NFU) were putting out a press release. It talked about putting guidance on bio security out to the poultry industry including to what was known as the "hobby" poultry farmers, in other words those that had a few birds. They also talked about getting guidance out to the industry on worker safety and about how we could have a common database on poultry throughout the country. It was worth noting that the NFU had stressed and everybody agreed, including both World Health Organisation and the Food Standards Agency that UK poultry was safe. Avian Flu presented no human health threat from eating poultry products. We were agreed with the NFU.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Suspected Terrorists on bail

Asked about bail being granted to 4 terror suspects awaiting deportation, the PMOS said that Hazel Blears had released a statement which whilst expressing disappointment stressed two things. First, that this in no way prejudged the outcome of the decision on deportation. Second, that we would also be asking Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to impose strict bail conditions. Asked if this played into the Prime Minister's stated frustrations with the system, the PMOS said that the important thing was that we treated this case as a stand-alone case. The Prime Minister's view that we now had different circumstances to contend with was on the record. A point that was underlined by the Home Secretary at Cabinet this morning.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

EU informal summit

Asked about the summit, the PMOS said it was very much about debating the issue of how the EU met the challenge of globalisation in order to get the priorities right in the EU before we got to the December Summit on future financing. Hampton Court was not about future financing. As the Prime Minster had said in his letter to EU leaders this morning he would make every effort to get an agreement on future financing at the December Summit.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) drew journalists' attention to the fact that three RAF Chinook helicopters were going out to Pakistan today to help in the region.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

EU Informal Summit

The PMOS also updated people on the EU Informal Summit. He said that the Prime Minister was formally inviting the EU Leaders today to the Informal Summit, and his letters of invitation set out the objectives and the format of the Summit. The PMOS drew journalists' attention to certain parts of the letter where the Prime Minister said that he proposed "...as the theme of our discussion, the opportunities and challenges of globalisation. How do we meet the competitive challenge and maintain the security of our citizens in a world of unprecedented movement.....". At the Informal Summit, President Barroso would present a Commission Paper that was due to be published later today. Based on that paper, the Prime Minister had proposed the following questions to frame the discussion:

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

EU Finance

Asked why the Prime Minister was "so keen" not to hold any discussions on future financing, the PMOS said that as he had said yesterday, it was a question of getting the horse and the cart in the right order. As the Prime Minister had set out in June, the challenges facing Europe were how we addressed the opportunities and "threats" of globalisation. Therefore, we needed to address those broader questions before the particularities of the details of the budget could be addressed. What could not happen, however, was to allow the particularities of the budget dictate how the broader question was addressed. The PMOS said that in this country, we tended to start everything from the rebate, but as the Prime Minister said in June, the rebate was only a symptom of the overall problem, but it was not the problem itself. The problem was how did we address challenges of globalisation today and how did that impact on the EU's priorities

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Avian Flu

Asked for further details about this afternoon's meeting on avian flu, the PMOS said it would be better to let the meeting take place first. However, what was important was that the NFU and the Government both understood where we were on the situation, because it was not a new subject, and there had been contingency plans and discussions for some time on this issue. It was important that we were both on the same page.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (8)

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