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REVEALED: Brussels moves to INCREASE Britain’s exit bill to plug EU’s budget black hole

BRUSSELS has catapulted the bill Britain will have to pay for leaving the European Union to the top of its Brexit agenda and will now seek to bolt on extra requirements as it scrambles to plug a massive budget black hole.

Senior EU officials today revealed that member states were “unanimous” on the fact that the UK must settle up on its financial commitments before trade talks can start and appeared to increase the potential scope of the final amount to be paid.At a briefing to the Brussels press corps eurocrats said they had been “really surprised” by the determination of the other 27 member states to ensure that getting Britain to cough up was included as a top priority in the negotiations.

Theresa May met with Jean-Claude Juncker this weekGETTY              Theresa May met with Jean-Claude Juncker this week


And they hinted that the “global amount” that the UK will be billed will now include “political” commitments the UK has signed up to, which includes programmes like the Turkey refugee package which could run for years or even decades to come.That would push the final bill beyond the £50bn being mooted and today senior EU officials stressed that they will not budge on the issue, setting themselves up for a showdown with Downing Street which has indicated it is not prepared to pay the full amount.

Yesterday at a meeting of the EU’s general affairs council in Luxembourg the bloc’s foreign ministers were adamant that Britain would have to honour its financial commitments for the current Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF).The instrument, which was agreed in 2014 and sets EU spending priorities for seven years, runs until 2021 meaning Theresa May will be expected to continue sending money to Brussels for more than a year after the UK has left the bloc.

One top eurocrat with knowledge of the negotiations told reporters: “Various states have certain sensibilities, but what really surprised me – and I think this will be important in the context of whether sufficient progress has been made – is the unanimous view on the financial settlement.

“I have never seen net payers and net contributors working so closely together to make sure that the financial settlement should be part of this sufficient progress.”

In its Brexit negotiating guidelines the EU has made clear that talks on a future trade deal with Britain can only begin when “sufficient progress” has been made in three key areas – citizens’ residency rights, keeping an open border in Northern Ireland and the Brexit bill.And asked whether or not there would be any wiggle room on the final amount, the official replied that they could not speculate because Michel Barnier had not yet produced his report detailing a breakdown of the commitments the UK has made.

But they warned the UK: “There are issues on which Member States agree and there are those on which they disagree. But apparently on Brexit all the 27 have the same position.”

However, the official did add that senior European figures “appreciated” the change of tone in the debate in the UK about the possibility of a no-deal scenario, and added there was now more “realism” in Downing Street about the consequences of not reaching a settlement.

Earlier this year Theresa May caused consternation in Brussels when she said that “no deal is better than a bad one” – something which was interpreted by eurocrats as a direct threat to sabotage the negotiations.

The EU is facing a £10bn a year black hole in its finances after Brexit which could create severe political problems for the bloc at a time when it is already facing growing pressure from populist politicians.

Net contributors to the project, like Germany, Austria and the Netherlands, want to streamline and downsize its gargantuan operations like the EU Commission and to rein in spending to cover the shortfall.But Southern European countries, which have faced years of punishing austerity and sluggish growth, want a cash injection to boost economic activity and feel this should be provided by those countries which have benefitted the most economically from the euro currency.

Meanwhile the eastern bloc, the most recent additions to the club, are determined to fiercely protect the social cohesion fund which has pumped billions of pounds into their region over the last decades from being cut.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/797852/Brexit-news-EU-expand-Britain-exit-fee-bill-budget-black-hole

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Jane Davies
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“The EU is facing a £10bn a year black hole in its finances after Brexit ” add the fact that the EU has not had it’s accounts signed off for at least twenty years with luck the whole crumbling corrupt organisation will disappear down said hole never to be heard from again.

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