When asked about the UK contribution to the EU budget, the Prime Minister’s Deputy Spokesperson (PMDS) said every opportunity was being taken to raise this important issue. With regard to next steps, the PMDS said the UK would be looking at all the issues that needed to be worked through, including getting to the bottom of how the £1.7 billion figure was arrived at.
When asked about search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, the PMDS said that the decision to replace the Italian led search and rescue mission with a border monitoring mission had been agreed unanimously by all 28 Member States at the last European Justice and Home Affairs Council. The PMDS added that the UK was contributing to the new mission by providing an expert and concluded that it was important to tackle the cause of the problem.
When asked about Afghanistan, the PMDS said the government would be initially focusing on what had been a successful drawdown and no decisions had been taken yet on any review. She added that lessons had been learned throughout the operation, including how the armed forces trained Afghan forces.
When asked whether terrorist financing would be discussed at the Prime Minister’s bilateral with the Emir of Qatar, the PDMS said that no issues would be off the table at the meeting. She added that one of the ways the UK was combating this issue was through the UN Security Council Resolution on ISIL in August 2014.