UK Prime Minister David Cameron has endured what has been described as his most significant defeat since coming to power in 2010.
Fifty three Tory rebels or “Eurosceptics” joined with Labour to call for a real-terms cut in EU spending between 2014 and 2020.
Labour leader Ed Milliband savoured the moment: “He can’t convince european leaders, he can’t even convince his own back-benchers. He’s weak abroad, he is weak at home. He’s John Major all over again,” a reference to a previous one term Conservative PM.
But, Cameron countered, this is no Maastricht moment:“His position is completely incredible. He says he wants a cut in the EU budget but he doesn’t sanction a veto. Now we’ve made clear, that we’ll use the veto as I’ve used it before.”
The EU budget is set to be thrashed out in Brussels later this month. While not legally binding, the vote means Cameron may find it difficult to secure parliamentary backing for any deal that falls short of a real-terms cut.