Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 15 March 2011

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Libya, Bahrain and health.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Asked if Britain intended to drop its plans for a no-fly zone or whether a decision on whether to implement one was imminent, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) said today’s communique from the G8 welcomed the fact that the UN Security Council was urgently considering a wide range of measures to ensure the protection of the Libyan population from attack.

A no-fly zone was something we would need to agree on with international colleagues - we had been clear about that and what we thought should happen.  We had been open about needing to discuss action with international partners and the fact that there needed to be international agreement.  The international community had agreed various measures to bring pressure on the Gaddafi regime, including sanctions and an arms embargo and it was important as an international community we made sure the regime complied with those.

Asked if there had been any progress with a draft resolution, the PMS said that we continued to talk to colleagues. As the Prime Minister had said yesterday, we were working on the drafting of a resolution that would look at a range of options, including a no-fly zone and action on mercenaries.


Asked if Britain was preparing plans to pull British people out of Bahrain, the PMS said that the Government was extremely concerned about the situation in Bahrain and called on all parties to exercise restraint. It was vital that governments responded to calls for change with reform and not repression. Given recent events, the Foreign Office had been looking at its plans across the region.


Asked if the Prime Minister intended to ask the Health Secretary to amend his plans for NHS Reform following opposition from the British Medical Association (BMA), the PMS said that we were clearly disappointed the BMA has decided to oppose elements of the Health and Social Care Bill it had previously supported rather than work constructively with us to improve services for patients. We would continue to put that case to them.

Asked if he thought the BMA was representative, the PMS said that the BMA had published surveys itself that showed its position was not representative of many of its members.

Published 15 March 2011