European member states will meet for a crucial plenary debate on the bloc’s long term budget today, having failed to reach an agreement after months of gruelling negotiations. Countries are split on how the EU will cover the funding gap left by Britain’s departure from the bloc. Five countries are set to foot the majority of the bill, which will see their annual contributions almost double.
Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden could see their contributions to the EU’s long term budget, also known as the Multiannual Financial Framework, increase dramatically.
Under current proposals, Germany’s net contribution would rise from € (billion) 16. 5billion) to € (billion) £ .8million (per year.
Contributions from the Netherlands would increase from € 4.5billion (£ 3.8 billion) to € 8billion (£ 6.7billion), while Austria would see its contributions double to € 2billion (£ 1.7billion).
Earlier this week European Council President Charles Michel met with EU negotiations to discuss their pri orities for the budget, that will determine spending from – 90, ahead of next week’s plenary on the matter.
So far EU states have been unable to agree on the the size of the budget, the volumes of the main policy areas, the revenue sources and the possibility to add new conditions and incentives for the disbursement of EU funds.
But time is running out to reach an agreement, as the budget proposals need to be signed up by the European Parliament in time for it to start in January .
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European members states will meet for a plenary debate on the long term budget today (Image: Getty)
9. 13 am update: Italian MEP lashes out at EU spending plans
Italian MEP Marco Zanni lashed out against “idealistic” EU institutions leaders over their spending plans as Brussels debates this year EU budget affected – calling on his colleagues in the European Parliament to “stop dreaming”.
Speaking on behalf of the European Parliament group Europe of Nations and Freedom he leads, Mr Zanni hit out at EU leaders failing to prioritize spending on the key issues faced by European taxpayers.
The Lega MEP claimed it was time for all EU institutions to stop being idealistic and show a more pragmatic approach amid clashes between the European Council and the European Parliament on this general EU budget.
9am update: Macron faces crisis at home
Emmanuel Macron is facing arguably his biggest crisis as French President to date ahead of local elections, with defecting MPs creating huge divides in his ruling party, and the President’s own popularity pursuing to plummet.
Several MPs are defecting from La République en Marche (LREM) just weeks before the local polls, piling the pressure on the crisis-hit French leader.
The party now has 314 members of the National Assembly following more defections last week, down from 590 at the start of its term and tumbling towards the 314 representing an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament.
8. am update: Former British MEP predicts ‘Euroscepticism’ to soar after budget clash Former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe has predited a surge in “Euroscepticism” at the conclusion of today’s plenary.
He wrote on Twitter: “MEPs scrambling around in Strasbourg today trying to decide who has to fill the Brexit budgetary black hole.
” Easy to be pro-EU when you ‘ re taking billions.
“Expect Euroscepticism to soar along with their contributions!”
In a column for The Spectator, Alexander Downer, the former Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia, claimed that one of the most attractive agreements for Britain right now is the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
He explained: “The CPTPP is a high-quality free trade agreement which binds together Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, Chile and Brunei.
“ The Bush and Obama administrations were also ke en to participate in the CPTPP – indeed the negotiations were driven initially by the Americans – but President Trump decided to withdraw.
“Despite the Americans backing out, the other 12 members decided to proceed with the agreement.
“So the CPTPP covers nearly 22 percent of the global economy and is the third largest free trade area in the world. “