Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Brexit news: EU petrified they will be forced to pick up €11billion no deal bill | UK | News


Amid fears that Boris Johnson could still pull the plug on the withdrawal agreement, officials are updating a number of contingency measures. The European Commission is set to mirror its plans to allow Britain to contribute to the bloc’s 2020 budget. But if the Prime Minister refuses to hand over billions to Brussels, the 27 remaining countries will have to make significant cuts to their budget and increase their own contributions.

EU budget chief Gunther Oettinger has previously said half of the blackhole would be plugged by cuts while member states would face steep hikes to their membership fee in order to make up the rest.

Jean-Claude Juncker’s so-called college of commissioners will tomorrow afternoon be expected to sign off the plans.

EU officials will also suggest that the bloc’s executive rollover a contingency measure that allows British fishing vessels to maintain access to European waters if the Government agrees with a reciprocal offer to give up the country’s territorial fisheries.

They will also decide on a proposal to list a no-deal Brexit alongside natural disasters during which member states can claim emergency funds.

EU countries suffering from “heavy financial burdens” from Britain’s no-deal departure would be able to apply for relief from the bloc’s Solidarity Fund.

The funds are usually reserved for assisting member states to recover from natural disasters, such as volcanic eruptions, forest fires, drought and floods.

The European Union’s Solidarity Fund is described as a “valuable instrument in the EU toolkit for interventions in disaster situations”.

Officials want to ensure the fund can “provide member states with financial assistance to cover the heavy financial burdens imposed on member states as a result of the withdrawal from the United Kingdom from the Union without agreement”.

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Dublin last month suggested that EU funds could be used to help the country recover from a no-deal Brexit.

It is widely acknowledged that the Irish agri-food sector would be left in ruin if Britain quits the bloc without an agreement.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, will update the Commission’s top team on the threat of no deal when they meet tomorrow.

Mr Juncker, the outgoing Commission president, will also brief them on his recent phone call with the Prime Minister.

After plans are finalised, several EU diplomats have told Express.co.uk that the bloc will release “preparedness notices on haulage, the 2020 budget and the emergency fund”.

The bloc will continue improving on a number of “unilateral” no-deal Brexit contingency measures and any reciprocal arrangements offered to Britain will heavily favour the EU27.

Diplomats and officials insist they will continue to reject advances from London to negotiate so-called “mini deals” to mitigate any no deal disruption.

Despite the Prime Minister telling Brussels that striking a Brexit deal is his priority, the bloc is working on the assumption that Britain will leave without an agreement.



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