Ireland would consider increasing EU contributions, if CAP is protected - Varadkar
Other EU countries do not want EU budget Brexit hole to be filled
Ireland is prepared to increase its contributions to the EU overall budget, if other countries do too and working programmes such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is protected, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.
Speaking today in Brussels at an information meeting of the heads of governments, he said that the Irish Government is willing to consider an increase in its contribution to EU funds over the next five years, as long as well functioning programmes, such as the CAP.
Countries currently contribute to EU funds based on their Gross National Income (GNI) based on the size of their economy, which he said is fair.
He said at the informal meeting of the EU 27 he heard a lot of support for Ireland's position on the new EU budget, that programmes that work well should be protected and reformed, such as the CAP.
He also said that if Europe is going to do new things, then it should look at new sources of money for these, around migration and security.
Varadkar attended an informal dinner last night at the invitation of the Belgium prime minister, where 12 heads of Government exchanged views on the future EU budget and reforms that may have to take place as the EU modernises itself, he told journalists today in Brussels.
The bloc is set to lose out on an estimated €14bn a year after the UK leaves, but a group of budget hawks, led by the Netherlands, does not want the hole to be filled.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one of two main budget lines facing the chop, along with regional subsidies, which together make up 70pc of the bloc's €150bn a year budget.