Brexit Not to Affect 2018 EU Budget - European Commission

© AFP 2022 / EMMANUEL DUNANDA British flag flutters amongst EU flags ahead of British Prime Minister's visit at the European Commission in Brussels on January 29, 2016
A British flag flutters amongst EU flags ahead of British Prime Minister's visit at the European Commission in Brussels on January 29, 2016 - Sputnik International
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The UK withdrawal will have no direct impact on the 2018 EU budget as the UK is expected still be a full member of the bloc during that year, according to the European Commission.

Anti Brexit campaigners carry a Germany flag and European flags outside Britain's parliament in London, Saturday March 25, 2017. - Sputnik International
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BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The withdrawal of the United Kingdom will not affect the 2018 EU budget as formally the Brexit process would complete in 2019, the European Commission said Tuesday.

"The UK withdrawal will have no direct impact on the 2018 budget as the UK is expected still be a full member of the EU during that year," the EU Commission said in a fact sheet published on its website.

Speaking at a press conference, EU Commissioner in charge of budget and human resources Gunther Oettinger stressed that it was "the last normal budget" that the union of the 28 states would have.

Germany's European Commissioner for the digital economy and society Guenther Oettinger attends a hearing in front of an European Parliament committee on the transfer of his portfolio to the budget and human resources commission, at the European Parliament in Brussels, January 9, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The commissioner also mentioned the Multiannual financial framework (MFF), a seven-year EU draft budget, post-2020, stressing that it would be elaborated by the European Commission before 2018. However, Oettinger believed that it was difficult to predict all possible consequences of the UK withdrawal from the European Union this year, and therefore, the EU states should discuss whether it is worth presenting the MFF this year without any clarity, or better to elaborate a more comprehensive and precise draft MFF in summer 2018.

"I think it would be more in line with budget realities. If the Council and Parliament think that the Commission should submit a realistic draft next year, then we will be freed from the obligations of the financial regulation, otherwise the financial framework will have to be drafted by the end of this year," Oettinger said.

The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union formally began in March, after it was confirmed that a letter triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, penned and signed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, was delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk. According to Article 50, the United Kingdom has two years to complete the negotiations, and must leave the European Union on March 29, 2019.

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