THE Governor, Mr Chris Patten, said the British team for the talks would be composed in the same way that it had been ''down the years''. ''It is important to emphasise that there has never been an issue as far as we are concerned about the discussions being between the sovereign powers Britain and China,'' he said outside the Foreign Office in London. He said he had announced some time ago who the members of the British team would be and those figures would still be its members. Those supporting the Ambassador to Beijing, Sir Robin McLaren, ''will be playing exactly the same role'' as they did in Sir John Cole's talks in Beijing last autumn, Mr Patten said, with the Minister with special responsibility for Hongkong, Mr Alastair Goodlad, standing beside him. Mr Patten confirmed that the agenda would concentrate on the arrangements for the 1994/95 elections. ''We will be constructive and imaginative and will be looking for solutions to some of the problems that have arisen,'' he said. ''I very much hope that we can come off at the end of the day with an agreement which is fair and open and acceptable to the people of Hongkong.'' Asked how the talks would tie in with the schedule of legislation through the Legislative Council, Mr Patten said: ''We will need to keep a close eye on how the talks are proceeding and see how that relates to the time-scale for legislation.'' There was no doubt on either side that arrangements needed to be in place for both sets of elections. Mr Patten insisted the Hongkong Government was not going to dig itself in on the timing of the legislation. But he was vague about what influence the Legco process might have on the talks. He said Legco would like to reach agreement with China but different members had different views on what ''that agreement might ideally be''. Mr Patten said he would not want the talks to begin without hope that they would be successful. But he added: ''I think you would be delighted but surprised if the ambassador and I were to set out in detail what we will be saying at the first round of the discussions. ''One of the issues I am sure we will be wanting to discuss with the Chinese is exactly what they mean by the through train.'' Mr Goodlad stressed that there were no preconditions to the talks. Asked what had changed since Chinese leaders recently said he would be condemned for a thousand years, Mr Patten said: ''There is a certain custom in these matters. But maybe a thousand years is a long time in politics, [but] a fortnight is even shorter.'' Mr Patten later had an informal lunch with the Prime Minister, Mr John Major. Aides said it was to be a meeting of old friends. The inference was that much of the time would be spent on Tory party matters, not on Hongkong. Mr Patten, Mr Major and Mr Hurd will meet to discuss Hongkong on Friday, shortly before the Governor leaves Britain. BRITISH TEAM: SIR ROBIN McLAREN, 58: A Putonghua and Cantonese speaker, the British Ambassador to China has spent most of his 33-year Foreign Office career in Hongkong and Beijing. Normally reserved and conservative, he has had to take on a higher profile in helping to deflect Chinese attacks on Britain and Mr Patten. Sir Robin has played key roles in Hongkong's recent history. As Political Adviser from 1981-85, he was involved in talks leading up to the signing of the Joint Declaration in 1984. He also led the British Joint Liaison Group team from 1987-89. PETER RICKETTS, 40: Head of the Foreign Office's Hongkong department since 1991, he came into the post with little experience of Asia and speaks no Chinese. His appointment was seen as an attempt to break the hold of sinologists on Britain's Asian policy. He was assistant private secretary to former foreign secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe and accompanied him during talks on the Joint Declaration. MICHAEL SZE CHO-CHEUNG, 47: A Hongkong civil service high-flyer, he has been Secretary for Constitutional Affairs since 1991. Mr Sze, who joined the civil service in 1969, was a member of the British negotiating team last September when the Foreign Secretary, Mr Douglas Hurd, met his Chinese counterpart, Mr Qian Qichen, in New York. He has recently been the target of left-wing attacks for his aggressive defence of the Governor's electoral reforms. PETER LAI HING-LING, 41: Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs since 1991, he accompanied Mr Patten to Beijing last October and has also been involved in talks on Hongkong's new airport as a member of the Sino-British Land Commission. WILLIAM EHRMAN, 42: Political Adviser to the Hongkong Government, seconded from Britain's diplomatic service, he was the youngest ever to take up the post when he arrived in September 1989. He has spent 17 of his 21 years in diplomacy dealing with Hongkong and China affairs. Although tipped to leave the post at the end of this year, Mr Ehrman has advised the Government through some of Hongkong's most difficult times, including the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the current debate on political reform. CHINESE TEAM: JIANG ENZHU: Sir Robin's opposite number, the Chinese team leader is seen as a high-flyer in the Foreign Ministry, where he is now a vice-minister. A former head of the Department of Western Europe, Mr Jiang is now a top aide to Mr Qian. He visited Londonin July 1992, when he met the Foreign Secretary, Mr Douglas Hurd. He also took part in talks when the Governor visited Beijing last year. Typical of mainland career diplomats, Mr Jiang has kept a low profile and seldom spoken to Hongkong or foreign reporters. WANG FENGCHAO: Head of the State Council's Hongkong and Macau Affairs Office's Second Department, Mr Wang is almost certain to be the top aide to Mr Jiang. The Chinese side has yet to formally unveil its line-up for the talks. OTHERS: Sources insist that as the talks are a matter solely for Beijing and London, officials from the Foreign Ministry will fill the key positions in Beijing's team. Therefore, in the supporting staff is likely to be the head of the Foreign Ministry's Hongkong Office, Mr Zhao Jihua, 58, and the head of the New China News Agency's foreign affairs department, Mr Chen Rongchun.