Questioned on the PM’s stance on Europe, the PMS said that the PM wanted to change the relationship and seek fresh consent. The PM had spoken to Chancellor Merkel and PM Rutte over the weekend and amongst other issues, the PM had taken them through his approach on Europe. The date and venue of the PM’s speech would be confirmed in due course. Asked whether the PM had any doubts over whether staying in the EU was in Britain’s national interest, the PMS said that the PM’s view was that it was in the national interest.
Asked about the Government’s support over Mali, the PMS said that the PM had also spoken to President Hollande over the weekend and discussed Mali. The Government was providing logistical support for the French Government, and was not going to play a combat role. Two C-17 aircraft were currently being provided. If other logistical roles were proposed, they would be considered.
Put that changes to the state pension were designed to raise exchequer revenue, the PMS said that it was not about saving money or raising taxpayer funds. Any additional funds would be made available for other things. The Impact Assessment for proposals would be published alongside the draft legislation.
Asked about the PM’s comments about Whitehall bureaucracy, the PMS said that the PM had been very clear on this when interviewed earlier in the morning.
Questioned about wind energy contracts, the PMS said that it was right that Ofgem were currently consulting on them, and that the Government would respond to the Select Committee report in due course.
Asked whether the Government was considering the decriminalisation of certain drugs, the PMS said that the PM’s unequivocal view was that the current policy was the right one and it was working.