EU casts shadow over Cameron’s election success

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LONDON: David Cameron barely had time to toast his stunning election victory before attention turned to Britain’s future in Europe and the onerous task of quelling rebellious eurosceptics within party ranks. During his victory speech, Prime Minister Cameron said he would stick to his pledge to hold an in-out referendum on Britain’s European Union (EU) membership by the end of 2017. Cameron will campaign to stay in the union, but only if he can secure reforms such as changes on migration and benefits, and the repatriation of certain powers to London. However, he will have to simultaneously appease his European partners and the anti-EU faction of his own party, whose influence is amplified by the Tories’ narrow majority of just 12 seats. “Every step of the way he will have to manage a caucus of up to 100 eurosceptic rebels who are not likely to be satisfied with merely tearing up red tape,” warned the Times editorial on Friday (Saturday in Manila). Cameron held sway over his members of parliament during the last parliament as his coalition with the centrist Liberal Democrats gave him a sizeable majority, diluting the influence of backbenchers.

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AFP

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