Asked what contingency plans were being made to protect the UK economy following comments in the Prime Minister’s speech earlier that day, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said the Treasury does contingency planning on a routine basis but we don’t provide a commentary on that work. Asked if there was any involvement from other departments, the PMS said the Treasury worked closely with other departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Asked if the PM was doing anything active to encourage the European Central Bank to do more to assist eurozone countries, the PMS said that the ECB was an independent institution.
Asked if the Prime Minister thought a meeting of European leaders would be a good idea, the PMS said that it was not a question of more meetings; what we needed was action. He said eurozone countries needed to implement the package agreed in October.
Asked if the Prime Minister felt the bailout package was sufficient given the situation in Italy, the PMS said what was needed was some action to implement the package.
Asked if the UK were bystanders to the eurozone situation, the PMS said the main actions needed were actions for the eurozone countries. He added there was a role for UK and other countries, and those responsibilities were discussed at the G20 last week.
Asked if the Prime Minister saw the G20 as a missed opportunity to reach an agreement, the PMS said there had been an agreement to ensure the IMF had the resources necessary.