EU Considers Taxing Border Crossings and Plastic Bags to Fill Brexit Cash Shortfall

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The European Union (EU) is considering new taxes to make up for Britain’s lost financial contributions after Brexit.

The taxes could include a charge on plastic bags and an increase in the cost of non-EU persons travelling in the EU’s free movement zone.

The UK is a net contributor to the EU’s annual budget, and its departure is expected to leave a yearly cash shortfall of €12 billion to €15 billion.

The bloc is bringing in a new border control system, which will track non-EU nationals in the Schengen free movement zone from 2020. Currently, foreigners can move around, undetected, without using a passport.

There is currently a €5 application fee for the 30 million foreigners expected to annually use the so-called European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias) without a visa.

This fee could now go up with British people likely to be included in the list of those expect to pay to travel through the EU, the Financial Times reports.

Günther Oettinger‏, the Commissioner for the EU’s Budget, explained: “We have two financial gaps: One on the revenue side and one on the expenditure side of the budget. The gap on the revenue side is due to the fact that, sadly, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.”

Extra spending would go towards “fighting terrorism, internal and external security, border control, investing in defence and defence research”, he explained, alluding the creation of an EU Army.

Prime Minister Theresa May has already agreed to keep paying into the EU’s budget into the so-called “Brexit transition period”, and the nation could make payment for years to come to access the bloc financial markets, according to a new proposal from Germany.

A leaked EU dossier, reported Wednesday, revealed the bloc’s growing concern about the economic damage Brexit will do to specific nations and regions, potentially strengthening Britain’s negotiating hand.


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