Athens said Brussels failing to deliver a Brexit deal would leave the country facing “increased financial and political instability” if there a blackhole in the EU’s budget up to 2020.
New Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab made it clear Britain would only hand over the £40 billion Brexit bill if the EU agrees to sign a trade deal with Britain.
A Greek government working paper warns the of potential economic meltdown if Brussels were to allow Britain to leave the EU without a deal.
Their document claims a no-deal Brexit would instantly leave a £10bn-a-year blackhole in the EU’s finances.
Greece’s working paper serves as a warning that the EU must seek to protect its poorer members who benefit from Brussels handouts.
The European Commission is steadfast in its assurances that the bloc is prepared for a no-deal Brexit, whose preparedness task force is headed up by powerful eurocrat Martin Selmayr.
Pieter Cleppe, of the Open Europe think tank, said: “This definitely plays into the UK’s hands as if there is no withdrawal agreement then there will be no financial settlement, which means the EU doesn’t get its money.
“The EU is actually facing two holes in their budget: the hole created by no future UK payments, and also the hole of promises made to increase spending in policy areas such as expanding EU border agency Frontex.
“The EU has so far only proposed modest spending cuts, so there are big divisions that are likely to escalate in a major row in the future.”
Gunther Oettinger, the EU’s budget commissioner, has said the bloc must find an extra £20bn a year after Brexit if Brussels is to continue with its ambitious plans without British contribution.
A Brexit advisor to Greece’s rural areas and food department has urged Brussels to consider charging member states for the British-left blackhole.
Oliver Mas said: “In the event this option is chosen by the EU, Greece should seek a special agreement with the EU and EU member states to reduce its Brexit bill as Greece would be unable to finance through this through national funding, which could result in increased financial and political instability.”
Ever since the Greek financial crisis, Brussels has imposed massive austerity measures, which have forced Athens to slash pensions and spending on healthcare, emergency services and education.
Greece, as a net beneficiary of the EU budget, receives more from Brussels than it pays into the coffers.
However, if Britain were to leave without paying the £40bn Brexit Bill, Greece may not be able to cover any extra costs.
Their paper said: “Not all spending commitments agreed by the Greek government and EU could be honoured.”
Warnings of a no-deal Brexit are coming thick and fast from across the Continent. This morning the Danish finance minister Kristin Jensen said time is running out to strike a deal and gives Britain crashing out a 50-50 chance.
The same warning was sent by Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics, he said: “Frankly, at this point I would rate it 50:50 – 50:50 is a very considerable risk.”