Basildon and Billericay MP Baron rebels against Prime Minister over EU budget (From Southend Standard)
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Basildon and Billericay MP Baron rebels against Prime Minister over EU budget
3:16pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in Echo News
EUROSCEPTIC John Baron was one of 53 Tory rebels who demanded an EU budget cut in what was a humiliating defeat for the Prime Minister.
Last night, Wednesday, Mr Baron, who has been a lifelong Eurosceptic, voted along with the 53 fellow rebels to defeat the Coalition Government in its bid for a freeze in the UK’s budget contribution to the EU.
Instead, the Eurosceptic amendment, supported by the Labour Party, called for a cut, which was carried by 307 to 294 votes.
Mr Baron said: “At a time of cuts to many services including the police, education, welfare and the Armed Forces, it is wrong to agree cash increases for the EU budget.
“The EU now needs to cut back on its bloated bureaucracy and wasteful programmes – so wasteful its accounts have not been signed off in 16 years.”
“Our victory in the House of Commons will now hopefully strengthen the hand of the Prime Minister in negotiating a better deal both for the UK and ultimately for the EU.
“The vote is not binding but it does send a very clear message.”
EU leaders are set to meet at a summit next month to try and agree a seven-year budget that will run from 2014.
Mr Baron has become something of a rebel of late, voting against his own party on several issues including backbench reforms, Army cuts, the EU referendum and he has also spoken out over the UK’s stance on the Afghanistan war - in 2010 he called for British troops to be pulled out of the war torn country.
The former Royal Fusilier has also criticised military intervention in Libya, saying the UK government “should not lecture other countries about democracy.”