Press briefing: morning 14 May 2013
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The Prime Minister's Spokesperson (PMS) answered questions on Europe.
All questions were on Europe
Asked whether the PM shouldn’t just amend the Queen’s Speech rather than allow a Private Member’s Bill on an EU referendum, the PMS said that the PM’s position on Europe remained clear: he wants to renegotiate Britain’s position within the EU and then offer a referendum. As the PM and DPM’s (Deputy Prime Minister) views on this matter differ the PM feels that this is best course of action.
Asked whether there would be time given to allow the Bill to be considered, the PMS said that the Bill would go through a Parliamentary process.
Asked when the PM came to the conclusion of a Bill, the PMS said that the PM was always happy to look at a range of measures to best demonstrate the strength of his commitment of renegotiating position in Europe and then giving the public the choice of staying in the EU.
Asked about the position on how Minister’s should vote on the amendment to the Queen’s Speech the PMS said that the position was that government ministers were to abstain.
Asked whether the PM should urge backbenchers to withdraw the amendment in lieu of the draft Bill, the PMS said that the PM remains happy to have this debate as it shines a light on his commitment to renegotiate our position on Europe to make it more open, flexible, and competitive and then put a renegotiated deal to the British public.
Asked whether the PM consulted with other EU leaders before going to the US to urge more trade with the EU, the PMS said that the PM had regular conversations with other EU leaders on a range of issues.
Asked whether the PM welcomed the support given by President Obama on the PM’s stance on Europe, the PMS said that the PM and President agree on a large number of issues and continue to work closely together.