David Cameron has been warned he has two weeks to salvage his reputation as Conservative Eurosceptics showed their opposition to the EU deal being brokered by the Prime Minister.
A host of prominent Conservatives, including London Mayor Boris Johnson, expressed their dissatisfaction with the package of reforms being offered by Brussels.
Mr Cameron spent yesterday defending the reforms saying he was “happy to be judged” on the outcome of his renegotiation of Britain’s EU membership. But Eurosceptics on the Conservative benches claimed that the deal put forward by the European Council president Donald Tusk fell short of Mr Cameron’s pledges to ban migrant benefits and restore British sovereignty.
In the House of Commons, the Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg looked ahead to the next round of negotiations ahead of a EU summit on 18 February. He said: “The thin gruel has been further watered down. You have a fortnight, I think, in which to salvage your reputation as a negotiator.”
Mr Johnson was also sceptical, challenging Mr Cameron to explain “how the change as a result of this negotiation will restrict the volume of legislation coming from Brussels, will change the treaties so as to assert the sovereignty of this House of Commons and of these Houses of Parliament?”
Meanwhile Mr Cameron dismissed a letter signed by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish First Ministers spelling out their objection to a June EU referendum, because it is too close to domestic elections.