EXPOSED: The huge rift between EU member states over how to plug Brexit budget black hole

27 Oct

Denmark has expressed a similar view, with Copenhagen saying that whilst the UK must honour commitments already made the “EU budget burden for the remaining 27 Member States should not increase after Brexit”. 

Elsewhere the Latvian government indicates an openness to reducing payment levels, so long as its farmers do not lose out, whilst Italy pleads poverty and says it cannot afford higher contributions. 

And Sweden says that when the UK leaves the bloc’s budget “will have to be reduced by the corresponding amount”, suggesting an “expenditure ceiling that does not exceed 1 per cent of the EU’s GNI”. 

However, this final proposal puts Oslo firmly at odds with those countries who want to maintain and even increase the budget in response to Brexit despite losing the UK’s mammoth contribution. 

Portugal states that no cuts should be made to two of the bloc’s biggest programmes – the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Fund – after Brexit instead suggesting “raising the EU budget ceiling to 1.1 % and 1.2% of GNI”. 

Several other countries who are amongst the biggest recipients of Brussels cash are also unsurprisingly defensive about spending levels, given they have the most to lose from Britain’s decision to quit. 

The Cohesion Fund – a massive development programme designed to boost the economies of the club’s poorer members – is vociferously defended by Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. 

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