MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Germany may face an increase in its payments to the EU budget following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the bloc, Funke media group reported Friday, citing the European Parliament.
After Brexit, a gap of 10.2 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in the budget will have to be covered by EU members annually, 4 billion of which will be Germany's burden. Thus, Germany will become the biggest contributor to the EU budget, paying 18 billion euros annually followed by France with about 7 billion euros, the report by the EU Parliament wrote.
The report has been published amid the new round of Brexit talks that have kicked off in Brussels, but with no indication that a breakthrough is possible in the near future on the early issues such as Britain's EU exit bill, EU citizens' rights and the Irish border. London and Brussels, however, hope to reach a consensus on these issues by the end of the year.
According to UK Brexit secretary David Davis, the British government will propose an amendment to its bill on the UK's pullout from the European Union to set the exact date of departure. This rush is echoed by the stance of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who warned lawmakers against attempts to slow down or stop the exit process.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was re-elected in September, has signaled her intention to maintaining a "good spirit" in the negotiations, urging, however, the UK to specify the country's proposals concerning the deal.
Germany and France are heavyweight players in the European bloc, both economically and politically, and Merkel's words carry a lot of clout. She reportedly told Theresa May, the negotiations will not move on to the question of trade until December at the earliest.