Furious infighting has developed in the European Union as member states and EU bodies struggle to agree on the future budget. The Daily Express’ Brexit the Final Countdown podcast panel discussed the tensions growing between member states and the “big divisions” forming between France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel. Final Countdown host, Head of Video News, Rebecca Hutson was joined by Head of News Paul Baldwin and Brussels correspondent Joe Barnes.
Mr Barnes explained President Macron was causing tensions with member states through his desire to increase spending within the budget by 0.3 percent despite losing major contributor, Britain, following Brexit.
Mr Barnes said: “What is happening is we are seeing a real split in the camps.
“There is a big division between member states and what they want.
“The Commission wants something, the Council want something and the Parliament want something else.”
The Brussels correspondent then explained the differing views from the EU bodies.
Mr Barnes said: “The Parliament said we want to spend 1.3 percent of people’s growth national income, a countries growth national income, on the budget.
“The council is saying no, more like 1.1 percent.
“A lot of member states are saying no, we should keep it at one percent, as it is.
“This is because we should not be so foolish to start spending all of this money after losing one of the biggest contributors in Britain.”
“That has put France at odds with the EU group called the Frugal Five- Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and Austria.
“They want to cap spending at one percent so you are seeing the usual German-Franco axis of negotiating.
“Again this is another reason why people voted Brexit.”
He closed by questioning how Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel will resolve their differences on the budget when the two leaders have a reputation for agreeing and holding sway in the European Union.
He added these divides are going to be “fascinating” at France and Germany’s next emergency summit the following week.