The Prime Minister's Spokesperson answered questions on Europe, the EU Private Member’s Bill and party funding.
Asked whether the Prime Minister will be in the commons for the EU Private Member’s Bill and whether he would speak in the debate, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) confirmed that the PM would be present at the debate.
Asked what the PM’s message for MPs would be and whether he felt the need to speak and inspire the troops, the PMS said that the PM’s message for backbenchers would be the same message the PM has given on a number of occasions - the support that he has, and has set out in his speech, for a referendum.
Asked whether the PM would make a speech at the MPs’ barbeque that evening and whether the PM would cook, the PMS said that there were no plans for a speech and referred further questions on the barbeque to political spokespeople.
Asked whether the Bill would tie down a future government, the PMS confirmed that if the Bill is passed if a future government did not want to go ahead they would have to repeal legislation.
Asked whether the PM accepts that if the UK leaves it will still be responsible for some financial commitments and would be likely to have to obey a lot of EU law, the PMS replied that he had not seen that analysis. Asked whether the government has done any independent analysis on this, the PMS said that the PM is focused on the case he set out in his speech on Europe and on changing the relationship between the UK and the EU.
Asked about an article in the Telegraph which says that the UK should invoke Article 50 now, the PMS said that the PM thinks that the thing to do is to get on with the current process and that is what the PM is focused on.
On the issue that a Labour MP has called for a referendum next year, the PMS was asked whether the PM agrees that would be good to consider moving the date forward. He confirmed that the PM’s view remains unchanged.
Asked what the PM would choose if it’s a case of having a referendum in 2014 and having a majority for it or nothing, the PMS said that the PM is an optimist and is focused on the approach he has set out.
Asked why 2017 not 2014, the PMS said that the right thing to do is to seek a mandate for the renegotiation and for the referendum and that is what is going to be in the Conservative manifesto, as he has often said.
Labour and party funding
Asked whether the PM is a fan of the Drenge (a musical band) the PMS said that he has not discussed this with the PM.
Asked whether the PM is disappointed that there has been no progress on party funding for two years, the PMS explained that the Coalition Agreement has contained an ambition to reach agreement on this issue, so by definition the PM was disappointed.