Press release

Number 10 Press Briefing - Afternoon From 7 September 2011

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

From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Europe, PMQs, planning, tax.

Europe

The Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) began by informing the assembled members of the press that the Prime Minister (PM) had discussed various issues with the European President Herman van Rompuy, including the European economy, the review of European neighbourhood policy, stabilisation in Libya and the EU’s response to Arab Spring.

Asked if the PM and President Van Rompuy had discussed a new EU treaty, the PMS replied that the meeting had focussed on the topics he had previously mentioned. He said that there were no current proposals for a new treaty.

Asked if the PM would support further fiscal integration, the PMS replied that the Government’s priority was to protect our national interest. He stressed that in any discussion on further fiscal integration, the Prime Minister would be very clear to ensure that it did not undermine the single market or Britain’s national interest.

Asked for detail on the PM’s discussion with President Van Rompuy on stabilisation and Libya, the PMS replied that they had discussed EU progress in this area. The discussion had centred around the review of EU neighbourhood policy and the support that the EU provided through this.

PMQs

Asked if the PM meant any offence to Nadine Dorries in his reply to her questions in PMQs, the PMS replied that he had not.

Planning

Asked if the planning amendments were for the benefit of the economy or the environment, the PMS replied that the reason the Government was reforming the planning system was that it was out dated, was far too time consuming and - in certain areas - was holding back economic development.

Asked if the PM had plans to meet the National Trust, the PMS replied that the Department for Communities and Local Government was holding a consultation exercise with a range of stakeholders.

Tax

Asked what the Prime Minister’s position on the 50p tax cut, the PMS said that the Chancellor had made clear this was a temporary tax. Tax decisions were for the Chancellor.