British PM to face parliament over EU Juncker defeat

30th June 2014, Comments 0 comments

Britain's David Cameron will address parliament on Monday over his failure to stop Jean-Claude Juncker becoming the next president of the European Commission, insisting he will work with him to secure a "fair deal" with the EU.

The prime minister will face criticism from the opposition Labour party during the session in the House of Commons from 1430 (1330 GMT) although eurosceptics in his centre-right Conservative party broadly support his stance.

Ahead of his Commons appearance, Cameron wrote in the Daily Telegraph that he hoped to work with Juncker to gain a "fair deal" for Britain in Europe.

"If by a fair deal we can agree that we are not heading, at different speeds, to the same place -- as some have assumed up to now -- then there is business we can do," Cameron wrote.

"I do not oppose further integration within the eurozone: I think it is inevitable. Eurozone members must make those decisions.

"But I know the British people want no part of it."

Cameron forced an unprecedented vote on Juncker's nomination at a European summit in Brussels on Friday.

But he lost 26-2, with only Hungary's right-wing prime minister Viktor Orban supporting him.

Cameron called Juncker on Sunday to congratulate him on the job.

The British premier has said the result could increase the prospects of Britain leaving the European Union after a referendum on the issue slated for 2017.

He denied in the Telegraph piece that the vote had dealt a "fatal blow" to his strategy of renegotiating Britain's position in Europe before then.

"I do not deny that it has made the task harder and the stakes higher," he added.

"But it is not in our nature as a country to give up. That is not what we do."


© 2014 AFP

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