Given that the UK represents one of the largest net contributors to the EU budget, Brexit is likely to make a significant impact on Member States contributions, including Ireland’s. The exact impact will dependent on the nature of the final agreement between the EU and the UK regarding its involvement with the EU budget post-Brexit.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and UK, the UK had agreed to continue to pay into the EU budget for the remaining years of the current MFF, as if it was still a member. This would have resulted in no additional impact on Ireland’s contributions or receipts up to the end of the current MFF in 2020.
However, if that Withdrawal Agreement, WA, is not concluded and there is a no-deal Brexit, the impacts on the EU budget will need to be clarified. Under this scenario the UK would need to clarity its intentions regarding whether it still intended to continue making payments towards the current MFF. The Commission’s recently published “Contingency Framework” assumes a no-deal outcome, but establishes a legal basis for the UK to continue to both make payments into the EU budget and to access receipts from it for the year 2019. This framework seeks to minimise any unnecessary disruption for beneficiaries of EU spending programmes at the time of withdrawal.
If the UK decided to not continue with these payments, then both the Commission and Member States would need to consider the most appropriate way forward. However, the gap would need to be mitigated by either increased contributions from other Member States, reductions in EU funding programmes, or a combination of both.
Any forecasted impact on Ireland will depend on a number of variables which will dependent on that outcome such as adjustments to expenditure, increases in contributions, or a combination of both.