BREXIT will open up a vast €10.2billion (£8.99bn) hole in the EU’s coffers when the UK permanently quits the bloc in 2021 – with those four states all facing much bigger bills than other European Union nations because of the how Britain’s annual rebate is calculated.
The new research, published by the European Parliament, will spark genuine fear in Brussels as three of the four nations – Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands – already have very large and growing Eurosceptic populations.
And it has prompted celebrations from Brexiteers who say the study shows Britain was right to leave the EU – with Brussels no longer “able to milk this cash cow”.
The situation arises because the UK, under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership in 1984, negotiated a 66 per cent discount on its net contribution to the EU – which the other countries in the bloc at the time agreed to make up for.
But Austria, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands made special deals to pay only 25 per cent of their share of the rebate.
So when the UK exits, the “rebates on the rebate” will no longer apply, meaning €1.7bn (£1.5bn) will instead have to be paid – and redistributed from the four countries to other member states.
Under the projections from the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Austria will have to pay a massive €413million (£363m) a year extra, or €47 (£41) for every citizen, to close the funding gap left behind by the UK’s exit. This means the annual budget contribution is set to rise by a staggering 15.33 per cent.
On a per capita basis only the extremely-eurosceptic Swedes will get a worse deal than Austria. Citizens in the Scandinavian nation will each have to pay €55 (£48.50) more every year.