Questioned on the Coalition Mid-Term Review, the PMS said that it was a stock take for the Government and would set out new areas for action. The primary focus was on domestic policy, but as the PM had pointed out, a major Government priority was to make the reforms necessary to compete internationally in the global race. The review would not supersede the original Coalition Agreement. It was a stock take after two and a half years in government. Asked who from the coalition contributed to the document, the PMS said that the document had been developed in the same way as all Government policy. Ministers and departments had been consulted as the document was drawn up. The final document was being presented to the full Cabinet this morning.
Setting out Government progress on press regulation, the PMS said that cross party talks were on-going.
Asked when the PM was scheduling his speech on Europe, the PMS said that it was scheduled for mid-January. Questioned on the PM’s recent comments about limiting benefits for foreign EU nationals residing in the UK, the PMS said that the PM was making the broad point that it was being considered. Indeed the UK was one of a number of member states looking at measures like this. On deportation, the PMS said that versions of ‘deport now, appeal later’ policies existed in several EU member states. The Home Office and Ministry of Justice were looking carefully at this area.