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Prime Ministers and Opposition leaders of the EPP are meeting in Belgium tomorrow ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels. David Cameron has declined the invitation due to "diary commitments".

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The decision has been criticised by former Europe Minister Denis MacShane for showing that Cameron would rather placate the Right then stand up for British interests, and by Europhile Conservatives for needlessly missing out on the opportunities for networking and bridge-building.

More importantly, it is likely to be a sign that the Party will be bullish on the EU to shore up its base.

Deputy Editor

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