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Cameron attacked from all sides on Europe

7 December 2011

1:13 PM

7 December 2011

1:13 PM

David Cameron’s usual insouciance gave way to something approaching shouty panic as Europe dominated exchanges at PMQs. 8 Conservative MPs, all of them hostile to varying degrees, asked
questions about Cameron’s intentions at the Brussels summit on Friday. This may not have surprised him, but the word around the Commons tearooms is that Cameroons are blaming Speaker Bercow
for calling so many antagonistic MPs to their feet. It looked like a co-ordinated attack; and it’s no surprise that an opportunistic Boris has since taken to the airwaves renewing his call for a referendum.

Cameron’s article in this morning’s Times may have been intended to quell disaffection by looking
decisive, but it seems to have had the opposite effect. Certainly, it gave Ed Miliband a golden opportunity to exploit Cameron’s retreat over repatriating powers. The Labour leader scored
direct hits, despite his awful jokes and bungled delivery. Cameron was visibly shaken by the appearance of a eurosceptic opponent, especially as the Tory benches fell ominously quiet as the
session progressed. Heaven alone knows why Miliband stopped at only three questions on the subject.

It was a mauling, almost cruel in its unsparing savagery. But Cameron will be thankful that Owen Paterson’s comments to the Spectator on Europe were not raised during the session. Stay
tuned to read those remarks in full.

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