PM threatens to force through EU referendum plan

David Cameron has threatened to use the Parliament Act to force through plans for an in-out referendum on European Union membership after legislation was effectively killed by peers.

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Key parts of Cameron's European strategy in disarray

Two of the key components of the Prime Minister's European strategy are tonight in disarray.

The French President rebuffed him over the reform of the European Union.

And the vehicle for putting any such reforms to the British people - a referendum - was voted down in the House of Lords by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Cameron says he will fight on, determined to find a way to hold a referendum. His political reputation may depend on it.

ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener reports:

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David Cameron takes biggest gamble on EU referendum

I don't think the Prime Minister had any other option other than to come out fighting tonight.

He had previously supported this private Member's bill which was killed off in the Lords and I don't think he could really afford to let it fall by the wayside without appearing very weak.

David Cameron has threatened to use the Parliament Act to force through plans for an in-out referendum on European Union membership. Credit: PA Wire

As a result he has put Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the spot - they now will have to say whether they do support the idea of a referendum on the European Union and Britain's membership of it when a bill comes back to Parliament.

Having said that, I think David Cameron is taking the biggest gamble on this because his party is split down the middle on Europe.

Mr Cameron wants Britain to remain as part of a reformed Europe, but many in his party disagree and I think this is very much a case of be careful what you wish for.

Failed EU bill was 'Valium for Tory Eurosceptics'

The failed EU referendum bill was a "bit of Valium designed to calm down" Eurosceptic Conservatives, a Labour peer has claimed.

Lord Lipsey said Labour had "choked up the Valium today" and David Cameron would have to think of something better to reconcile the pro and anti-European elements within the Conservatives.

The Labour peer added that the failed bill was a "complete mess" and could not become law unless it was changed to give the "British people a proper referendum at the right time".

Lib Dems dismiss PM's EU vow as 'a bit of bluster'

The Prime Minister's threat to use the Parliament Act to force through plans for an in-out EU referendum has been dismissed by his Liberal Democrat coalition partners as a "bit of bluster" that had not been discussed with them.

"This sounds like a bit of bluster after the rather unedifying events of yesterday," a spokesman said in a reference to an immigration Bill vote that saw the PM swerve a confrontation with rebellious backbenchers.

David Cameron has threatened to use the Parliament Act to force through plans for an in-out referendum on European Union membership. Credit: PA Wire

"There hasn't been any discussion with us about this. The coalition Government have already legislated for the circumstances in which there would be a referendum.

"We don't agree with this Bill and we are not going to change our position just because the Tories have problems handling their backbenchers and are running scared of Ukip.

"It's also worth noting that it was the Tories who killed the bill in the Lords. We were happy to continue debating it.

Labour and Lib Dems 'treating public with contempt'

The Conservative Party HQ's press office has described the failure of an EU referendum bill as a "disgrace" and accused Labour and the Liberal Democrats of treating the public with contempt.

Tory plans to give voters an in/out referendum on Britain's EU membership were killed in the House of Lords today.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats both accused the Tories of killing their own bill for not allowing more time for debate.

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Tories 'killed EU bill by failing to allow time for debate'

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative Party of killing their own European Union referendum bill by failing to allow more time for debate.

A Lib Dem source said peers were "more than happy to continue examining it and debating it next week," while Labour called on the Government to give more time for debate.

"Those pushing for a referendum have no sense of the implication it would have on Britain. They offer no alternative to Britain remaining in the EU," Lib Dem peer Lord William Wallace of Saltaire said.

"Those who want to stay in the EU are hoping for a renegotiation of our membership.

"The coalition Government has already legislated for a referendum if there is a transfer of powers from the UK to the EU."

MP: Labour and Lib Dems 'conspired to kill EU bill'

The Conservative MP who brought forward plans to give voters a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU today has slammed Labour and the Liberal Democrats for effectively killing the legislation.

The Bill was effectively blocked from making further progress when peers voted by 180 to 130 to end debate without clearing the committee stage.

James Wharton has slammed Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Credit: PA Wire

James Wharton, MP for Stockton South, said: "Labour and the Lib Dems have conspired in the House of Lords to kill this important piece of legislation, doing the bidding of their political masters in the Commons.

"It's now clearer than it has ever been that it's only the Conservatives who will give people a choice on this important issue. I think many people will be disappointed by what has happened today."

David Cameron has threatened to use a Parliament Act force through plans for an in-out referendum.

PM pledges new EU referendum bid after Lords failure

David Cameron has threatened to use the Parliament Act to force through plans for an in-out referendum on European Union membership after legislation failed in the House of Lords.

The Prime Minister blamed Labour and the Liberal Democrats for the failure of the bill, and insisted the Tories would make another attempt to turn the referendum pledge into a law.

"Today the Labour Party in the House of Lords voted to block our Bill that would have ensured a referendum on Britain's EU membership by the end of 2017," the Prime Minister said.

David Cameron has blamed Labour and the Liberal Democrats for the failure of the bill. Credit: PA Wire

"This is disappointing news for all of us, but we are not going to give up in our efforts to turn our referendum commitment into law. Far from it.

"After all, we succeeded in passing it through the House of Commons - a huge achievement.

"We are going to try to re-introduce the same Bill in the next session of Parliament and, if necessary, rely on the provisions in the Parliament Act to stop Labour and Liberal Democrat peers killing the Bill once again."

David Cameron: Labour and Lib Dems killed EU bill

David Cameron has blamed Labour and the Liberal Democrats after a bill to give voters an in/out referendum on Britain's membership with the EU failed in the House of Lords today.

The Prime Minister urged voters to guarantee a referendum by voting for the Conservatives at the next General Election.

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