"The verb to vet: The verb form of 'vet' means to treat an animal. Vetting was originally a term in horse racing, referring to the requirement that a horse be checked for health and soundness by a veterinary surgeon before being allowed to race. According to the Oxford English Dictionary the earliest known usage is 1891'.
Note the phrase above, 'before being allowed to race'. (My emphasis). Also note the meaning 'to check'.
Coalition Chancellor George Osborne yesterday agreed at the EU finance ministers' meeting 'that the European Commission will check if [member State] budget plans are in line with economic guidelines set by EU leaders every March'
The Reuters website comments as follows: 'The review would focus only on the main parameters of the budget drafts, allowing Britain to stick to its position that the British parliament must see the full budget first.This would help side-step the politically sensitive issue of the sovereignty of the national parliament's decision on final budget proposals.....a problem often raised by Britain'.
"We will present the spring budget to parliament as Chancellors have done in the past," George Osborne said after the meeting,"The elected House of Commons will hear the budget information first. Then of course we will transmit that information to the Commission."
Bollocks. The EU Commission will see the budget strategy first. It may then decide that it is unsatisfactory...or demand certain changes. The British Chancellor would be powerless to resist that. Only after that process will the House of Commons then see a previously EU-rubber-stamped Budget in detail.
Do not be in any doubt: the agreed press release following the meeting was as follows....
"European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to submit future budget plans for review by the European Commission and other EU governments as part of moves to strengthen EU budget rules.The process, called the European Semester, is to start from 2011 and will involve governments in the 27-nation EU sending their expected budget revenue and expenditure numbers to the executive Commission by the end of April."This is a major improvement of our economic governance architecture," Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in a statement welcoming the agreement. He said the decision would "help us to correct imbalances and prevent deviations in due time, when Member States prepare their national budgets and national reform programs."
George Osborne will get an easy ride in Parliament on this one....with the exception of the Tory Right. The LibDems and Labour will go with the suprastate flow. But as the highlighted red section above shows quite clearly, the House of Commons power to reject a Budget has been bypassed: it is a done deal.