Major to demand backing on EU payments

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Mr Major will attempt to pre-empt a fresh Tory revolt over Europe by warning MPs that he expects their backing for a government Bill in the next parliamentary session to double Britain's net payments to the European Union.

A split among Euro-rebels appears to be emerging already, with hardline anti-Europeans such as Sir Teddy Taylor, MP for Southend East, warning that he would vote against the measure, but others privately suggesting that the Prime Minister got the best deal when the compromise over higher payments was reached at the Edinburgh summit in 1992.