The Straits Times
Published on Nov 01, 2012

Britain's Cameron suffers defeat on EU budget


LONDON (AFP) - British Prime Minister David Cameron suffered his first significant parliamentary defeat on Wednesday after rebels in his Conservative party joined the Labour opposition to demand a cut in the EU budget.

A House of Commons motion urging Mr Cameron to hold out for the real terms cut in the bloc's trillion-euro 2014-20 budget at a Brussels summit next month was passed by 307 votes to 294.

While not binding, the vote is the first such defeat for the coalition government comprising the Conservatives and the smaller Liberal Democrats, and a humiliation for the prime minister.

Mr Cameron had sought to head off the rebellion by threatening to veto any above-inflation increase of the European Union budget, which has become increasingly contentious as austerity measures bite across the continent.