ONE-FIFTH of the EU budget will be lost when Britain leaves the bloc, according to the Lithuanian head of state, who warned that difficult decisions will have to be made to make up this significant loss.
The Lithuanian leader did not reveal the exact figure, but the last EU budget came to 140bn euros a year, or one percent of economic output in the bloc.
A fifth of that figure would amount to a financial blackhole of £24.5 (€28bn), which is more than double the previous figure of the Brexit cost, mooted at £12bn.
“Today we have a lot of challenges and we have the phenomena of Brexit, so that means the lack of payment after Brexit and the new promises is about 20%.
“That is a 20% lack of financial resources, so we have to decide, either finding new resources, new European taxes, or reducing old programmes.
“Obviously, there is a wish to finish the budget before the European Parliament’s election in 2019.
“However, usually the accord is reached moments before the new financial long-term perspective comes into force.”
While ex-communist states urged wealthier neighbours to plug a nearly 10 percent annual revenue gap being left by Britain, the Dutch led a group of small, rich countries refusing to chip in any more to the EU.
Germany and France, the biggest economies, both offered to increase their own contributions, though both set out conditions for that, including new priorities and less waste.
The Commission has suggested that the next package should be increased by about 10 percent but there was little sign on Friday that governments are willing to pay that.
H/t reader kevin a.
* * *