German regional official: cut EU spending after UK exit

BERLIN – A German regional official says the European Union should cut spending rather than compensate for Britain’s EU budget contribution by making his country pay more.

Germany and Britain are among countries that put more into the EU budget than they get out. Britain’s withdrawal following last week’s referendum will raise questions about how to plug the shortfall.

Bavaria’s state finance minister, Markus Soeder, told daily Die Welt’s Thursday edition: “We Germans must take care that, after a Brexit, the British payments are not simply transferred to Germany and the other net contributors.”

Asked how the EU should make up the money, he was quoted as saying: “Very simple. By saving.”

Soeder’s Christian Social Union is the smallest party in Germany’s governing coalition and has often talked tough about the EU.