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Cameron's Gamble

Britain's Prime Minister is fighting to keep his country in Europe. It may cost him his political life

Peter Hapak for TIME

Shoes discarded, David Cameron pads down the aisle of a private charter jet with a chocolate-frosted cake. It is May 15, and he is returning from a four-night, three-city visit to the U.S. In London, more than a third of Conservative MPs have just refused to back his legislative program because it doesn't enshrine in law his promise of a referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union. Britain's Prime Minister seems blithely unconcerned. His communications chief and a protection officer are celebrating their joint birthdays, and Cameron dispenses torte to the traveling press.

A headline writer for a British tabloid...

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