February 16, 2018 / 1:17 PM / 2 years ago

Finland ready to increase EU payments after Brexit

FILE PHOTO - Finland's flag flutters in Helsinki, Finland, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland will support an increase in payments by European Union member states in the bloc’s next long-term budget, the Finnish government said on Friday.

The statement reverses the centre-right government’s earlier call for cost cuts and tight budget discipline to help fill the hole after net contributor Britain leaves.

Britain’s exit will deprive Brussels of some 12 billion euros (£10.7 billion) from an annual budget now running around 140 billion euros.

European Commission has said the next budget, spanning 2021 to 2027, should be between 1.1 and 1.2 percent of EU gross national income, compared with 1.0 percent now, which is around 140 billion to 150 billion euros, depending on the year.

“Britain’s exit needs to be taken fully into account in the overall financial framework, but we do not commit ourselves to the group of the strictest, 1 percent net contributors”, Helsinki said in a statement.

European leaders will debate the budget and at an EU summit later this month.

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell, editing by Larry King

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