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British PM loses parliamentary vote on EU budget

11-01-2012 07:15 BJT

LONDON, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered a major defeat in a parliamentary vote on Wednesday, after rebels in his Conservative party ganged up with the Labor opposition to demand a cut in the EU budget.

The motion was passed with 307 votes for and 294 votes against, and signaled the biggest setback since the Conservative-Liberal coalition government came to power in May 2010.

Some 53 Conservative MPs back a motion demanding the prime minister to request a cut in the EU's 2014-20 budget when the European Union's leaders meet in Brussels next month.

Cameron had sought to rally Conservative loyalists, telling the House of Commons that "this government is taking the toughest line in these budget negotiations of any government since we joined the European Union."

Cameron said he would veto any real terms rise in 2014-20 financial framework.

Government supporters quoted by BBC also said it would be "nigh on impossible" to negotiate a budget reduction given the lack of support among other EU nations, and urged MPs to back Cameron's call for an inflation-linked rise as the minimum acceptable outcome.

But Conservative rebels said the Parliament would send a clear message and strengthen Cameron's hand if they had backed a spending cut.

Cameron warned European Council president Herman van Rompuy at talks in London last week that Britain, which does not use the euro currency, could not support a sharp increase in the EU budget.

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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