Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

PM 'deserves credit' for EU stance

Prime Minister David Cameron is facing some pressure to offer a vote on Britain's European Union future

A Cabinet minister has issued a plea for Tory Eurosceptics to give David Cameron a chance in the wake of last week's humiliating rebellion.

Iain Duncan Smith insisted the Prime Minister deserved "credit" for his tough stance on the EU budget and repatriating powers.

He also confirmed that Mr Cameron would pledge a referendum on Britain's relationship with the EU - saying it was just a matter of "when and on what".

More than 50 Tory backbenchers helped inflict a damaging parliamentary defeat on Mr Cameron last week by demanding a real-terms cut in the seven-year Brussels funding package.

Rebel ringleader Mark Reckless has claimed that at least one member of the Cabinet toyed with resigning to join the mutiny.

But interviewed on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Duncan Smith said achieving an inflation-only rise - around 2% - at a crunch EU summit later this month would be a good result.

The noted Eurosceptic said: "We are here right now trying to restrict the amount of money that goes to the European budget.

"I think he (Mr Cameron) would love to come back with a real-terms cut, I would love him to do it.

"But I just honestly feel that sometimes we do not give enough credit to him - the first man to veto a European treaty.

"He has told us he will veto something that he cannot bring back to the British Parliament."

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