Cameron: EU ban on ten packs doesn't sound very sensible
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 14:35
Simon Clark

David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions today:

EU ban on packs of ten cigarettes doesn't sound very sensible.

I'm trying to get a transcript of his exact words but it seems the PM was unaware of the policy that MEPs voted for in the European Parliament yesterday and is supported by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Fancy that!

Update: Here it is:

Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen) (Con):

Does the Prime Minister believe that when the European Union forces my constituents to buy 20 cigarettes at a time, rather than their current 10, it will reduce the number they smoke?

The Prime Minister:

It does not, on the face of it, sound a very sensible approach. I was not aware of the specific issue, so let me have a look at it and get back to my hon. Friend.

Someone - health secretary Jeremy Hunt, perhaps - should tell him the vote took place yesterday and the "specific issue" he refers to has been discussed and debated (although not by the British media) for at least three years.

What it does suggest is this. The Department of Health is a law unto itself and even the prime minister has no idea what ministers and civil servants are planning or consenting to - until it's too late.

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