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British EU Referendum: UK PM Cameron suffers defeat in parliament on EU referendum rules

While the defeat in the House of Commons was on a technicality, it highlights the struggle Cameron faces to keep eurosceptic rebels in his own centre-right Conservative party in line before the vote, due by the end of 2017.

It was Cameron's first defeat in the Commons, where he has a majority of only 16 seats, since he won Britain's general election in May.

The government had wanted to water down the usual rules on so-called "purdah", under which ministers are banned from making any announcements which could affect the result of the vote for the last 28 days of a referendum or election campaign.

But the normal rules will now be applied after the government's plans were defeated by 312 to 285 votes. Thirty-seven Conservatives rebelled against Cameron.

Note EU-Digest: Continental polls show that not too many Europeans on the mainland of Europe care if Britain goes or stays in the EU. Some believe it might actually turn out to be a case of good riddance if what many Europeans consider as "those conceited British" who always "want their cake and eat it too", and still believe they are the center of the world, pack it up and start facing the real world. They could be in for a big surprise.

Europe - UK PM Cameron suffers defeat in parliament on EU referendum rules - France 24

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