Mark Hoban, a Treasury minister, represented Britain at a dinner of European finance ministers on Tuesday night to discuss new EU "economic governance" rules aimed at preventing a future Greek-style euro zone debt crisis.They continue:
Under a new "pact" all EU countries including Britain will accept increased Brussels "surveillance" and regular "monitoring" recommendations on their economic and budgetary policies.
While Britain will not be subject to the same EU sanctions or fines to enforce the new rules as eurozone members, British Treasury ministers do face a summons to explain their policies to MEPs. Britain is opposed to the proposal.
The European Parliament is particularly insistent that governments should have to come to Brussels to publicly justify any departure or deviation from EU guidance on how best to manage their national policies.It's staggering that the Eurocrats have the gall to suggest it. No doubt our government's capitulation on other European issues has emboldened them. George Osborne certainly seems to have no qualms about handing over billions of pounds of taxpayers' money, but this latest demand threatens something much more precious: his ego. So perhaps just this once he will stand firm.
Under draft rules, Mr Osborne could be compelled to appear before the EU assembly's monetary affairs committee to explain himself in an "economic dialogue" with MEPs.