The PMS answered several questions on the logistics of Premier Li’s visit. He advised that further details on which documents would be signed would be given to lobby ahead of the event that afternoon.
He was asked what the role of the Development Secretary was at the conference and advised that the UK and China’s relationship is now multi-lateral and extends to looking at joint positions on international aid.
Cabinet meeting update and Iraq
The PMS was asked whether there was an update on Iraq and advised that there was no further updates from what the Foreign Secretary had said earlier. He was then asked what the timetable was to open the embassy in Iran. He advised that the government had already taken gradual steps towards diplomatic relations with Iran and that this approach, in regards to the embassy, would continue over the summer.
Asked whether the Prime Minister (PM) was concerned that Angela Merkel was pursuing Juncker’s appointment, the PMS replied that the PM’s view on the appointment process remained the same as set out in his op-ed from the weekend.
The PMS was asked about voting arrangements for the knife crime amendment and said that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister had agreed their approach and that collective responsibility would be suspended for this vote.