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Tory rebel: Cameron's EU leverage 'cut to smithereens'

Tory Rebel David Davies MP said David Cameron's negotiating leverage has been cut to smithereens.

He made the comments on the Andrew Marr Show, ahead of Cameron's trip to Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit to thrash out the multibillion-pound EU budget.

When asked whether the PM would be able to secure a budget freeze, Mr Davies said: "One of the problems is his veto, his final recourse, is actually rather weak. That means your negotiating leverage is cut to smithereens. That's where he is.

"He's got pretty much the whole institutional structure against him. They at least want to have an inflation protected budget, which is ridiculous when you look at what they are demanding.

"If you look at what is happening to Greece and Portugal and frankly everyone. For them to be protected really smacks of as an international gravy train par excellence."


Bomb disposal experts investigate 'gas bottles' near embassy

Bomb disposal experts are investigating two suspect vehicles containing gas bottles near the US embassy in central Brussels, a Belgian Defence Ministry spokesman said.

"As far as I know there are two suspect vehicles, one close to the American embassy and one close to the Belgian Defence Ministry," said ministry spokesman Didier De Weerdt.

"Apparently there are gas bottles inside the vehicles."

He said several buildings had been evacuated between the embassy and the ministry and a bomb disposal squad was assessing the vehicles. Police have closed several of the main routes through the district and out of the city centre.

US embassy in Brussels evacuated as suspect vehicle investigated

The US embassy in Brussels was evacuated while police investigate a suspect vehicle, officials and police said.

"I can confirm we have been evacuated. There was a suspect vehicle," said Viktor Sidabras, the spokesman for the US mission to the European Union.

A police officer in protective clothing inspects the suspect vehicle. Credit: APTN

Belgian news agency Belga said police closed several main routes out of the city and sealed off a security zone around the embassy

Eyewitness: a dozen people were in mosque

An eyewitness has told local media that there were a dozen worshippers in the mosque when a man attacked with a petrol bomb. An imam died as a result of smake inhalation, and another person was injured. Azzedine Laghmish told Belgium's national broadcaster RTBF:

A dozen worshippers were waiting to pray when someone entered with a bag. Inside there was a container full of petrol which he threw into the centre of the room. The fire took hold very quickly. The imam tried to put it out but he found himself stuck in a room.


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