The UK will help set the European Union’s (EU) massive one trillion euro budget for almost a decade to come, as the Prime Minister moves towards a softer form for Brexit.
EU officials reportedly offered the UK involvement until 2027, because of the huge amount of money Britain will continue paying into Brussels’ coffers until 2064, thanks to the almost £40 billion Brexit “divorce bill” agreed by Theresa May.
The UK Treasury is expected to hand over up to €5 billion a year to stay in some key schemes, but the amount is not confirmed.
The plan was devised by the European Council, made up of national leaders, but has angered the unelected European Commission, which opposes the move, The Times reports.
The commission argues that Britain will use budget discussions to alter rules and make it simpler for the UK to join science, research, and other spending programmes after Brexit.
Spend More or Do Less: EU Leaders Discuss Post-Brexit Budget Hole https://t.co/Pg7a2gqi8r
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 23, 2018
Supporters of a clean Brexit have also been angered by the revelation, as it helps to maintain deep ties with the bloc and continued financial links.
“This is the type of trickery that the EU gets up to,” blasted Bill Cash, the Tory chairman of the Commons European scrutiny committee.
“We have agreed to pay £39 billion to get out of the EU’s treaty structure. Taking part in these budget talks risks ensnaring us again.”
The UK is a net contributor to the EU, and many central and eastern nations, that take money out overall, are keen for the UK to keep giving up its cash for years after Brexit.
This may explain why they have pushed for the UK to be involved in the budget talks despite the fact that the next seven-year “multi-annual financial framework” (MFF) comes into force at the end of the agreed Brexit “transition period”.
“You should be [involved in budget negotiations] because you will still be paying into it after Brexit and probably more than just the science and research programmes,” EU officials told British diplomats, a Brussels source told The Times.