Europe: Double trouble

David Cameron

David Cameron has suffered a revolt on Europe, double that suffered by John Major - double, in other words the previous biggest rebellion on this most toxic of issues.

Unlike Major, David Cameron can and did easily sustain a Parliamentary majority.

The pressure he will now face is not over his government's survival but to spell out what he meant by promising "fundamental change" in Britain's relationship with Europe and when and how he'll deliver it.

It was a vote on much more than Europe - it was for some Tory backbenchers a cry of pain.

They don't like the compromises of coalition. They don't like the frustrations of life with little prospect of promotion. And they don't like facing boundary changes, re-selections and a tight squeeze on their expenses.

One cabinet minister told me tonight: "The well of goodwill on the backbenchers has run dry."

Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    This sham is what all the major parties call democracy. A debate called by the electorate was crippled by a three line whip. And why were 111 MP's who voted according to the wishes of their constituents, labelled "REBALS" by the BBC? Now that’s unbiased reporting.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    It's about time politicians started to represent the views of the people instead of pushing their own agendas. A three line whip by the government in power to undermine the petition and views of the electorate only serves to harm the government come re-election time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    ibid Coggin above : The will of the people - democracy in action - what a sham .. a joke ... its pathetic ... the will of the few thrust onto the many ... and yes why did you label the 111 as REBELS ?!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Dearie me, here is the Tory Party in England tearing itself apart while the Tory Party in Scotland seems about to be disbanded.

    Much ado about a referendum that will not happen while ignoring a referendum which will happen (the one that will split the UK not from the EU but asunder):

    You certainly have a gift for getting your priorities wrong, chaps.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    All a very small storm in a very big tea cup. The motion was never going to succeed, the "rebels" knew it, the Government knew it and the opposition knew it.

    The Tory backbenchers are frustrated because they have little or no influence because they are "stuck" in a Coalition not of their choosing.

    Hopefully many of them will lose their seats during the boundary changes.


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