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EU Budget: Brussels begins big battle on post-Brexit budget

The EU will this week unveil its first formal plans for a larger, one-trillion-euro-plus long-term budget after Britain’s departure, which threaten to further deepen divisions in the bloc.

From slashed farm funds that will anger French farmers, to development cash tied to respect for democracy, and demands for greater national contributions, the 2021-2027 budget promises to be an explosive mixture.

EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger, who will present the plans in Brussels on Wednesday (2 May), says that tough steps are needed to fill a 12 to 14 billion euro hole left by Brexit.

A race against time will follow, especially as the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, wants the budget agreed before the next European Parliament elections in May 2019, two months after Britain leaves.

EU states say it is “impossible” given the rifts between east, west, north and south, with countries anxious not to put their hands in their pockets at a time when populism on the march.

Read more: Brussels begins big battle on post-Brexit budget –

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