Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cameron tells EU rebels to back referendum law

Prime Minister David Cameron ordered rebellious lawmakers on Thursday to back his plan for a law guaranteeing a vote on Britain's European Union membership as he sought shore up his party, his leadership and the coalition.

Conservative rebels have been pushing him to take a hard line on Europe, resurrecting party splits that contributed to the downfall of former prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major in the 1990s. An election is due in 2015.

Cameron's promise in January to claw back powers from the EU and then put Britain's membership of the bloc to a vote by 2017 failed to silence eurosceptics and halt the rise of the anti-EU UK Independence Party.