EU Must Pay More, Get Less To Fill Brexit Budget Gap, Official Warns

EU member states will have to spend more money or lower the bloc’s ambitions in order to make up for a budget shortfall left from Britain’s departure from the EU, the bloc’s senior budget official warned on Wednesday.

“Brexit is a game changer,” EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said, noting that additional funding would also be required for new priorities such as dealing with migration, terrorism and external border controls.

The commissioner added that he cannot perform sorcery.

The EU is gearing up for negotiations on its spending plans for the decade after 2020.

The talks are traditionally among the most fraught in Brussels, and Brexit will leave an estimated annual budget shortfall of 12 to 14 billion Euros (14.8-17.3 billion dollars).

The commission presented a “menu” of options on Wednesday.

It said for example that comprehensive measures to protect the EU’s external borders would cost the bloc about 150 billion Euros over seven years, while maintaining the present system, which includes a crisis intervention force, would cost just 8 billion Euros.

The EU budget has previously been capped at around 1 per cent of the bloc’s economic output, while the current seven-year budget totals around 1 billion Euros.

“But expenditure will need to rise above 1.1 per cent of gross national income for the EU to be serious about its ambitions,” Oettinger warned.

EU leaders are due to hold initial budget talks at an informal summit on Feb. 23.

“Let’s first discuss about the Europe we want. Then, member states must back their ambition up with the money to match,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

The post EU Must Pay More, Get Less To Fill Brexit Budget Gap, Official Warns appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.

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Author: Sodiq Adekunle