From the Prime Minister's spokesperson on: Nordic/Baltic Summit, immigration, North Korea and tutition fees.
The Prime Minister’s Spokeswoman (PMS) said that the Prime Ministers of the UK, the five Nordic and three Baltic countries would meet in London on 19 and 20 January.
The meeting would bring together Prime Ministers, policy innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to discuss the challenges facing modern northern European economies, including how best to foster equality, wellbeing and competitiveness in the current economic climate.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“This meeting will bring together people and ideas from nine countries that face common challenges. We are coming together in London to listen and to learn and to capture ideas, the kind of ideas that can make our societies better places for our citizens to live in.”
Asked if the Nordic/Baltic Summit was a new meeting and why the UK was hosting it, the PMS said that it was the first meeting of its kind and it had been set up to discuss common challenges between the countries involved. The aim was to look at ways we could make our societies better places.
Asked if we regarded ourselves as part of the Nordic/Baltic block, the PMS said no; the idea was to bring a cross section of people together from these countries to discuss common challenges. The meeting would include policy innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders. The key aim was to look at how we could best foster equality, well-being and competitiveness to share similar challenges.
Asked if quality of life would be part of the discussions, the PMS said that a broad range of issues would be looked at. It would be a fairly informal event where case studies would be discussed and new ideas presented. The aim was to look at new policy ideas and learn from each others’ experiences.
Asked who initiated this meeting, the PMS said that we had been discussing the idea of a summit with the other countries, who agreed it was a good idea.
Asked what the Home Secretary would say about immigration this afternoon, the PMS said that people would have to wait for the Home Secretary’s statement, but the Prime Minister had made clear that we needed to get immigration under control, while at the same time have a business-friendly approach to the policy.
Asked how concerned the Prime Minister was about North Korea’s attack on South Korea, the PMS said that the Foreign Secretary had made a statement strongly condemning North Korea’s unprovoked attack and the Prime Minister echoed those words.
Asked if the Prime Minister had a message for the students protesting tomorrow, the PMS said that the Prime Minister’s view was that it was a democratic right to protest. The Government had set out its policy regarding tuition fees, which were more progressive and as fair as possible in the current economic climate. The Prime Minister was looking forward to a peaceful protest.