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Merkel horror: EU chief says Germany will have to pay up to £9BN to fill UK’s Brexit hole

GERMANY could have to pay up to an extra £9 billion a year into the EU budget to cover the black hole left by Brexit, the bloc’s finance chief has admitted.

Gunther Oettinger, who is Germany’s commissioner in Brussels, said his country faces coughing up “a manageable single-digit billion amount” – between one to 10 billion euros (£900m to £9bn) – once Britain has quit.His remarks open up the possibility that German taxpayers, who already contribute by far the most to the bloc’s budget, will be asked for up to £9 billion more from 2019.

Angela MerkelGETTY            Germany faces paying more into the EU budget after Brexit


In an interview with a German newspaper he said that Brussels spending should not be significantly slashed once Britain, one of the bloc’s biggest net contributors, has left.

Instead, he proposed that alongside some savings the EU should put an end to all rebates and ask member states to all cough up more cash to bankroll common projects.
Alongside Britain, eurocrats also authorise cash discounts for Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands on their membership fees – but these only amount to £900 million a year.On top of that Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden are also currently allowed to contribute a reduced proportion of their VAT takings to the project compared to other member states.

Scrapping this would disproportionately hit the German treasury, which would lose tax income, and the proceeds on VAT paid by all 28 member states in 2010 amounted to just £12.6 billion meaning it would not plug the gap either.

As a result Mr Oettinger admitted in an interview with Tagesschau that Brussels will be asking all member states, and especially his home country, to pay more into the EU pot after Brexit.He described the UK rebate, worth around £4.5 billion a year, as the “mother of all discounts” and said the bloc would benefit from no longer having to allow it.

But Brussels never actually sees the cash and Britain is still a significant net contributor to the tune of £8.6 billion a year. Instead, Mr Oettinger was talking about ending other, smaller rebates the UK exception spawned.

He said Britain’s exit would allow the EU to axe discounts of £118 million for Denmark, £629 million for the Netherlands and £167 million for Sweden, which he described as “the current horse trading in budgetary negotiations”.

Any suggestion that German taxpayers should cough up even more for the EU budget is likely to generate a serious political debate in the country given its current status as the bloc’s number one bankroller.In 2015 Berlin had an operating budgetary balance – the amount it pays in compares to what it gets out – of minus £14.3 billion euros, way ahead of Britain which was the next biggest contributor at  minus £11.5 billion.

Last year Germany paid for an astonishing fifth of the project’s budget all by itself, and with its economy still outperforming anywhere else on the continent that share is only likely to grow further still.

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote some German politicians were incensed by the automatic suggestion in Brussels and other member states that it would be Berlin that would naturally pick up the tab for Britain leaving.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/837959/Brexit-news-Germany-pay-billions-more-EU-budget-Brexit

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3 Comments on "Merkel horror: EU chief says Germany will have to pay up to £9BN to fill UK’s Brexit hole"

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Bill
Member

Not sure why this makes me happy, but it does.

Edith Ricketts
Member

I also feel happy about this . It is pure schadenfreude .

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