Sweden’s prime minister Stefan Löfven on Monday said the expenditure ceiling of one per cent GDP should remain once Britain exits the bloc, meaning the budget would be reduced by around 15 per cent.
Denmark has now echoed its neighbour’s demand as finance minister Kristian Jensen said his country should not have to pay a penny more for EU membership.
“The important thing is what Denmark has to pay. And I don’t think we should pay one krone more than we do now,” Mr Jensen told Ritzau. “The EU must make sure that it adjusts its cost according to the income sources it has.”
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Kristian Jensen said Denmark shouldn’t have to pay a penny more to be an EU member
“We need to cap the EU budget and we need to lower the costs when Britain leaves,” he said.
“First of all, it’s not sure how they are leaving because if you look at other countries outside the EU they are still paying to the budget, like Norway for instance because they want to have… the free access to the internal market.
“So we don’t know how much of a gap Brexit will give us but that gap needs to be filled up by expenditure reduction because I don’t believe that Germany or Denmark or other contributors are willing to pay more to the budget than we do right now. We need to look very critically at the expenditure.”
Calling for the EU to reduce the budget, the Swedish PM said: “We need a modern and efficient EU budget in the future.
I don’t think we should pay one krone more than we do now
“Where the money goes to the right things and where there are consequences for not taking responsibilities and following the EU’s decisions.”
Mr Löfven added the bloc would lose one of its major contributors after Brexit and it would have a large impact on future budgets.
Finance minister Magdalena Andersson joined the PM and suggested areas such as agricultural and regional aid should be less of a priority for Brussels.
The cabinet minister added the funds should be allocated to focus the EU members' “common problems and challenges” such as migration.
Ms Andersson added it is reasonable for Sweden to have a discount on the EU contribution in the future.
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
She said: “It is important that the budget is reduced when the British leave the union. It is not reasonable that we, like other member states, should pay more.”
The Swedish government has waded into the Brexit debate insisting the UK will not be able to only "pay for the goodies" without sharing the burden of its policies.
Ann Linde, Sweden’s EU affairs and trade minister urged the UK to be more flexible amid a new debt crisis engulfing the member states.
She told Bloomberg: “They have been really tough on the UK side. That’s a position they have chosen, but it doesn’t make it easier to have constructive discussions when the point is to reach an agreement.”
Ms Linde also insisted the UK should not get a better deal outside the bloc, than inside the union.