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Life after Britain: EU nations payments HIKE as Brussels counts cost of UK exit

Discussions about the EU’s seven-year budget are already underway with Eurocrats appearing desperate to plug the gap left by Brexit in March 2019.

The UK’s contribution, under Prime Minister Theresa May, is currently at £11 billion (€13billion) and a gross contribution of £15 billion (€17 billion.)

EU bosses are keen to make up the shortfall to continue a relentless drive for bloc expansion and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa has thrown his support behind a plan forcing each member state to increase payments from one percent to 1.2 percent to boost the communal budget.

He told a debate held with the European Committee of the Regions: “In a globalised world, Europe requires more cohesion and a more competitive economy.

“To respond to new challenges, we must not weaken the foundations of our Union, such as the Common Agricultural Policy or Cohesion Policy. 

“We have the ambition and we have the policies. If we want a stronger Union that is more resilient to crises and more prepared for new challenges, we must have a Union with more resources.” 

The Portuguese leader believes more cash would help the EU tackle crucial issues plaguing Europe – like shoring up its defence and security.

European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker has repeatedly said he too wants members states contribution to go up from one percent to 1.2 percent, while the European Parliament wants the the increase to be 1.3 percent.

Portugal has joined a long list of European leaders who want the bloc to be strengthened through a cash injection that will create revenue for common projects.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are leading the charge to reform the eurozone.

Both have expressed their commitment to rolling out changes in the bloc by strengthening the single currency and Europe as a whole.

The pair met last week in Paris for talks on ways to strengthen the bloc.

Mr Macron wants a standalone budget and a finance minister.

The French leader, who was elected in May on a pro-Europe platform, has set out grand plans, including suggesting at one point that the zone should have its own budget worth hundreds of billions of euros, an idea that does not sit well with Germany.

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