The UK’s exit from the European Union has left the remaining states facing a €12 billion hole in budgets – with Europe’s farmers likely to lose out as a result.
While Britain has agreed to continue making contributions until the end of this year, its absence as the second-biggest net contributor to the EU’s coffers from 2021 will be sorely felt, according to a report on the France 24 website.
The European Commission has been trying to get approval for a new long-term budget, called the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), since May 2018.
However, the debate over the shape of the EU’s future finances 2021-2027 continues to rage, with Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden – referred to as the “Frugal Five” – wishing to limit EU expenditure.
They are in direct opposition to a group of eastern and Mediterranean countries – the “Friends of Cohesion” – that want to retain the present budget rules.
A summit to address the MFF is due to be held later this month, on February 20, but is unlikely to reach a speedy agreement.
The figure of €12 billion is arrived at by calculating the UK’s contribution to the EU minus the amount of European money spent on British projects.
Over the course of the Commission’s seven-year budget that would come to a shortfall of €84 billion.
Previous EU finance commissioner Gunther Oettinger wanted to make up the lost of the UK’s contribution by cutting cohesion and farm subsidies.