Briefing by the Prime Minister's Spokesman on: Israel, spending annoucement, EU Council and John Hayes speech.
Asked for a reaction to the reports that Israel was considering easing the blockade on Gaza, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that she was aware of the reports in the media but would wait for the detail before commenting.
Asked whether a nuclear loan of £80million would be included in the announcement, the PMS replied that she would not preclude what was in the statement, but clearly the Treasury had been reviewing all decisions made on spending from January.
On whether there was a read-out from the Prime Minister’s meeting with President Barroso, the PMS replied that the Prime Minister had done a broadcast clip after the meeting. On UK/EU engagement the Prime Minister had said that we should be focussing on the issue of substance and not on institutional reform and that people would see Britain playing a positive, active and engaged role in the European Union.
The PMS added that the Prime Minister had said that we had a strong and positive agenda, taking action on finance and that we would always defend the UK’s national interest and national red lines.
When asked about the significance of the Prime Minister’s joint article with the Prime Minister of Sweden, the PMS replied that the two had a very good relationship. The PMS drew peoples’ attention to the Prime Minister stating that the EU should be leading the way in driving international movement towards a new levy on financial institutions, similar to that which Sweden had already put in place.
John Hayes Speech
Asked whether the Prime Minister agreed with John Hayes who had said that people hit by the recession should take up flower arranging, the PMS replied that what was important here was to get the economy back on its feet and ensure the private sector was given the support it needed in order to create jobs for the future.