UK 'will not allow Budget preview' - Hague on the Commission's latest idea - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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UK 'will not allow Budget preview' - Hague on the Commission's latest idea

Monday, 14 June 2010
Foreign Secretary William HagueTake one European Union that is keen for financial unease to be stemmed sees monitoring budgets to ensure deficits don’t spiral out of control and mix with it one new coalition British government keen to make its mark and resonate with a largely eurosceptic population.

Turn up the heat a little and leave to simmer and what do you get? A recipe for a scrap; and that is what Foreign Secretary William Hague has vowed over the Commission's latest proposal.

Speaking on yesterday’s Andrew Marr breakfast programme broadcast on BBC1, he defiantly declared that Britain will not accept EU proposals to give the European Commission advance sight of its Budget before it is presented to Parliament.

It is not a proposal that we can support. The Prime Minister, Chancellor and I have all made that very clear,” he said.

The British Budget must be presented to the British Parliament. That is a position we will argue for and we will maintain.

His comments follow the news that emerged last week that British officials from the Treasury have discussed met to discuss proposals from Brussels for a "peer review" of draft budgets by the Commission and EU finance ministers, which was drawn up in response to the financial crisis in countries like Greece.

The idea is expected to be raised at this month's European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday, David Cameron's first as Prime Minister, although Mr Hague stressed that it was still in early "embryonic" form and no final decision was expected this week.

"The discussions on this have some way to go but our position is pretty categorical,” he said.

"Our position will be pretty trenchant, that the national budget of this country can only be presented, the draft budget can only be presented, initially to the British Parliament."

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