» Thursday, February 2, 2006

Speech on Europe

Asked what the Prime Minister meant when he said "The vision is the one I share with Europe's founders: an ever closer union of nation states, cooperating, as of sovereign right, where it is in their interest to do so", the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that this was what the Prime Minister had always said so it should come as no surprise at all. He wanted sovereign states working together and working together for their own and for Europe's interests, as the two could be the same. This was the position of the Government and it represented no change whatsoever. The main point of the speech, which was counter intuitive to the perceived view that last year had seen a massive reverse, was that the Prime Minister was suggesting, that in addition to the successful accession talks with Turkey and the budget agreement, both big things, you also had the start of a serious effort by Europe to address people's practical concerns. Those concerns were jobs, economic competiveness, energy and issues such as migration. We had seen the start of that process at Hampton Court. These were not issues that had been top of the agenda a year ago. Now they were. That was partly influenced by the result of the referendums and a recognition that we needed to connect again with people's real concerns. It was also a result of the enlargement process and the introduction of the central and eastern Europeans.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Europe Speech

The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) gave journalists an outline of the Prime Minister's speech this evening. He said that this speech was a survey of Britain's relationship with Europe and also what the Prime Minister believed to be the changing dynamic within Europe. A dynamic where Europe was moving away from institution-building and towards a focus on practical issues which were of real concern to the citizens of Europe, be it jobs, security, energy supply, economic competitiveness, migration or other issues. The Prime Minister would say:

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Race Relations and Incitement

Asked, in light of the today's BNP court ruling, whether Ministers were studying the laws to see if there was a worrying and potentially inflammatory gap, the PMOS said that he recognised the seriousness of the question but it was premature to offer a considered response at this early stage. Asked what the Prime Minister thought of Peter Mandelson's criticism of newspaper's publishing the Danish cartoons, the PMOS said the EU trade commissioner spoke his own mind and he spoke for the Prime Minister. It was entirely a matter for media organisations to decide what they wanted to do within the law. It was for people to reach their own judgements.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Religious Hatred

Asked if Cabinet had discussed the Religious Hatred Bill, the PMOS said that there had been a brief discussion, and the Prime Minister had fully accepted his responsibility for missing the second vote, as he had at PMQs yesterday.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Carile Report

Asked whether the Prime Minister had seen similar information to that described by Lord Carlile in his report, which said he had seen information on the real and present danger of shocking terrorism, acts involving suicide bombers and that further suicide bombers must be expected, the PMOS said that Lord Carlile had said at the time of the debate in the House, as had his own briefings following Cabinet discussions, that we believed there remained serious threats to this country. We had also said that we would let the public know if we were aware of any specific threats. Nobody was pretending the situation was anything other than that described by Lord Carlile, but at the same time we continued to take measures to protect the public. We remained indebted to the police and security services for their work in this area. The Prime Minister had never hidden his view that there were serious threats against this country and everyone had to be vigilant in trying to protect the public against those threats.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked if we had any response to the Iranian foreign minister's threats if Iran was referred to the UN security Council, the PMOS said that the only real response was to say that what we needed at the moment was not threats but rather for Iran to comply with its international obligations. What was important was that the international community was united in its view that Iran was breeching those obligations and it should get back into compliance.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)


Asked about the possible Gazprom takeover of Centrica, the PMOS referred the journalist to the DTI.

Briefing took place at 14:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


February 2006
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Jan   Mar »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh