Politics

Leo Varadkar unleashes fury at EU crunch summit as he slams ‘unacceptable’ budget demands

Leo Varadkar criticised President Michel and President Von der Leyen for offering Ireland a bad proposal that saw the country contributing a lot of the EU budget without getting much back. The Irish Prime Minister went on to admit that he accepts Ireland will have to pay more than other countries in the next seven years. Mr Varadkar said: “I met with President Michel and President Von der Leyen last night and the proposal on the table is one we can’t accept.

“Essentially it means Ireland will contribute much more to the EU budget but will actually receive less back in terms of payments to Irish farmers and also funds for regional development and social development.

“We accept that as a country, as a growing economy will full employments we will have to pay more into the EU budget over the next seven years.

“But we can’t accept in return for paying more in we would see very significant cuts to cap and to cohesion funds.

“That’s not something we can accept and I made that very clear to President Von der Leyen and President Michel last night.

“On that basis I don’t think we will have an agreement today on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).”

Britain’s departure from the EU has caused tension in the bloc as remaining member states are “reluctant” to cover the €70 billion (£58 billion) void in the budget.

EU Budget and Admin Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, told CNBC that a breakthrough was desperately needed on the common budget as European leaders discuss their future spending, at the crunch summit.

He explained a “significant delay” to a budget agreement would impact future European Union policy plans.

He claimed the future budget will be smaller than previous years but EU nations will have to pay in more to compensate for the absence of Britain due to Brexit.

Mr Hahn said: “We have already anticipated the United Kingdom leaving.

“This is why the future budget will be smaller as the UK was the second biggest contributor.

“The individual member states have to pay a little bit more in order to compensate for the loss of the UK but also to invest in future and necessary policy areas.”

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The CNBC reporter Silvia Amaro interviewing Mr Hahn explained the member states of the European Union will have to “step-up” in the absence of the UK.

Ms Amaro added some EU nations are “reluctant” to increase their spending which is ultimately causing tension among the countries.

Mr Hahn insisted a breakthrough needed to be made on the budget quickly otherwise the EU’s policy plans were at risk.

Mr Hahn closed by saying: “It is absolutely high time to get a budget deal.

“If there is any further significant delay it will have an impact on the start of the different programmes.

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