04:23 GMT01 March 2021
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    EU Budget Commissioner Gunter Oettinger has made it plain that Brussels' debt-free budgetary policy will be unfazed by Britain's looming withdrawal from the bloc.

    Gunter Oettinger, the EU's budget chief, has said that Germany will have to contribute more to the bloc which will face new challenges in the future due to Brexit, according to the German newspaper Bild.

    "With 3 or 3.5 billion euros [3.76-4.4 billion dollars] more from Germany, we could close the gap left by Brexit and finance additional measures. That would be about a 10 cents per day more increase per head of population," Oettinger said.

    He underscored that there would be no change in the EU's debt-free budgetary policy in light of Brexit and that the bloc will not scrap its current austerity course.

    EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger attends a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels on February 14, 2018
    © AFP 2021 / Emmanuel DUNAND
    EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger attends a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels on February 14, 2018

    "On the contrary: we have to compensate for about half of the gap of 12 to 14 billion euros [14.9-17.4 billion dollars] left by Brexit with cuts in the existing budget," he said.

    As for the EU's news challenges, they will specifically include the protection of the EU's external borders and the fight against terrorism, according to Oettinger.

    READ MORE: Germany Reaps Record Export Growth, While Brexit-Bound Britain Trails Behind

    His remarks came after Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU/CSU bloc and the Social Democrats hold talks on forming a coalition, during which the sides specifically agreed that Germany would be ready to contribute more to the EU under a new government.  Right now, Germany remains the largest net contributor to the EU budget.

    The shadow of German Chancellor Angela Merkel photographed as she addresses the media after a meeting with German parliament floor leaders about the European Union bail-out in Berlin, Monday, May 10, 2010.
    © AP Photo / Markus Schreiber
    The UK held the Brexit referendum on June 23, 2016, and in late March 2017, the country's Prime Minister Theresa May officially invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, launching the country's EU withdrawal process.

    Brexit negotiations, which kicked off between Britain and the EU in June 2017, are due to be completed by the end of March 2019.

    In December, the sides finished the first phase of negotiations and shifted to the second stage which includes the transition period in EU-UK relations after Brexit, as well as their future long-term trade and security cooperation.


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    austerity, population, measures, challenges, budget, Brexit, EU, Germany
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