As the European Union agree for a new Brexit deal, European Union leaders are set to meet again on October 18 to deliberate on budget and climate change. No decision is expected on the next long-term budget for 2021-2027 which is a more divisive topic than Brexit.
Reports suggest that leaders need to reach a compromise that satisfies countries in favour of minimal spending, and those arguing for the budget to be maintained at a current level and others in favour of an increased contribution from member states to compensate for Britain's departure. The Finnish presidency of the council shall present a draft including a proposal on the overall level of financing.
A French diplomat said that draft shall be contested and insisted that it is crucial to keep a high level of funding in order to maintain the same level of agriculture and increase money for climate, innovation and migration issues. Germany which is a big contributor has disagreed and tried to limit spending from 2021.
The diplomat, who was not identified publicly, said that to keep the next budget at the current level, states must contribute at least 1.16% of their gross national income. The European Commission has set a target of 1.11% for an overall budget of 1.113 trillion euros against the proposed 1.30% by the European Parliament.
After the UN climate change summit, the Council, reportedly, shall continue talks on its goal of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, and leaders will also discuss the agenda of priorities set up by Incoming European president Ursula von der Leyen. In June earlier this year, EU leaders failed to agree on a plan to make the EU's economy carbon neutral by 2050. Many large European nations including Britain, France, and Germany have backed the target, but Poland which is heavily reliant on coal has opposed the consensus which entitles gradual phasing out of fossil fuel usage.
Also, after winning support from EU leaders, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has returned to London to secure backing from the Parliament. Speaking on the development, French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter and said that finalization of an agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom is a piece of good news; however, this agreement still needs to be approved by the UK Parliament. It will be presented by Michel Barnier and Boris Johnson at the European Council, he added.
Brexit : bonne nouvelle ce matin avec la finalisation d’un accord entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni. Cet accord doit encore être approuvé par le Parlement britannique. Il nous sera présenté par @MichelBarnier avec @BorisJohnson cet après-midi au Conseil européen.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 17, 2019
(With AP inputs)