Relations with President Putin
Asked about relations with President Putin, the PMS said that Britain had a straightforward relationship with Russia: where we disagree we said so directly. He added that the Prime Minister had been leading in bringing about international action - including sanctions - against Russia over Ukraine and Crimea.
Asked whether the Prime Minister would consider using the Luxembourg compromise to prevent the appointment of Jean Claude Juncker as EU Commission President, the PMS said that the Prime Minister’s focus was making the case that there should be a vote in the event of the EU Council moving away from a consensus-led approach.
Asked whether the Prime Minister had recently spoken to his Polish counterpart, the PMS said there is a widespread desire for reform in the EU and that the Prime Minister would be setting this out on Friday. Asked about Albania joining the EU, the PMS said that any future accessions would have to be subject to new transitional controls that the Prime Minister wants to see.
Asked if there was any further update on tackling extremism or removing extremist content from the internet, the PMS said that the government continued to work with internet service providers and that removing extremist material was a part of tackling the problem. The PMS added that the government had banned 72 so-called hate preachers and would continue to work closely with communities up and down the country.
Asked whether the Prime Minister understood the pain and fears of families who face increased levels in inheritance tax, the PMS said that the Prime Minister agrees that the government’s approach and policies on tax were the right ones.