No extra rebates in EU funds after Brexit, Fee urges

Brussels (AFP) – The European Fee on Wednesday urged EU states to drop the system of asking for rebates from their funds contributions if and when the UK leaves below Brexit.

The request was a part of a normal message from the EU’s govt telling member states to shortly type out the bloc’s 2021-2027 long-term funds plan so its contours are mounted by the tip of the yr.

So far Britain, the EU’s second-biggest economic system, acquired a hefty rebate on its contributions to the bloc’s funds below a concession gained in 1984, 5 years after then UK chief Margaret Thatcher famously demanded “I would like my a reimbursement.”

Related refunds have been additionally supplied to different wealthier EU states, leading to sophisticated funds haggling and calculations. Consequently these states pay proportionally much less in internet phrases than some poorer ones.

The Fee has referred to as the rebate system “opaque” and “skewed”.

A European summit subsequent week was meant to deal with the problem of the long-term funds, often known as the MFF, for “multiannual monetary framework”.

However Brexit now seems sure to suck up all of the air within the room.

And if Britain leaves by an October 31 deadline, as London needs, then there might be much less cash within the pot — and 5 nations together with Germany are in opposition to having to dig too deep to assist make up the shortfall.

“The present challenges are appreciable and Europe can not enable itself to delay adopting its long-term funds,” the EU funds commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, advised a media briefing.

– The Brexit hole –

Member states have already been intensely negotiating since mid-2018 on the premise of a Fee proposal calling for a multi-year funds of 1.three trillion euros ($1.4-trillion) .

That equates to every member state contributing 1.114 % of its gross nationwide earnings (GNI).

At that stage, it might cowl solely half the funds hole left by Britain’s absence. The opposite half of the lacking British contribution is supposed to return from cuts to EU spending.

Oettinger mentioned that the funds hole left by Brexit can be 12 billion euros the primary yr, then 84 billion over the next seven years.

However the 5 frugal nations need the contribution capped at 1.zero % of GNI, Austria’s finance minister, Eduard Mueller, mentioned earlier than a funds assembly in Luxembourg.

That would depart far much less cash for “new priorities” the EU needs to finance, corresponding to widespread defence and migration, except spending is drastically lower on conventional outlays corresponding to constructing infrastructure in poorer member states and supporting agriculture.

Oettinger mentioned that, “at 1.zero %, we cannot make it”.

Some concepts for brand new income streams embody tapping the carbon buying and selling scheme or making a tax on non-recyclable plastics.

The European Parliament has expressed considerations that the funds scenario may develop into much more sophisticated if the brand new Fee taking workplace subsequent month pronounces expensive new initiatives, notably on tackling local weather change.

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