UK's Cameron suffers parliamentary defeat over EU referendum rules

By REUTERS
September 8, 2015 01:29

British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered an embarrassing defeat in parliament on Monday after Eurosceptic members of his Conservatives joined forces with opposition lawmakers to reject proposed rules for a European Union membership referendum.

It was Cameron's first parliamentary defeat since he was re-elected in May with a slim majority and highlighted the historic splits over Europe in his Conservative Party that contributed to the downfall of two of his predecessors.

Cameron, who plans to reshape Britain's relationship with the bloc ahead of a membership vote by the end of 2017, has said he wants to stay in a reformed EU but rules nothing out if his renegotiation is unsuccessful.

While legislation paving the way for the referendum is set to pass to parliament's upper house later on Monday, the government will now likely be forced to accept changes to its proposed rules after lawmakers voted 312-285 against them.


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