Werner Heyer, the president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), has told the Financial Times that recent lending levels to the UK “cannot be maintained”. The UK has borrowed €7bn on average per year from the EU bank to fund projects ranging from transportation to renewables. Chancellor Phillip Hammond had hoped to boost the UK economy by investing in infrastructure projects but will have to look at other, possibly more expensive, lending alternatives going forward. While the €50bn of existing lending for current British projects from the EIB will be contractually protected, new projects (which require the approval of member states to lend) will be increasingly difficult to obtain. The EIB does lend to advanced non-EU members, such as Norway and Switzerland, but it is roughly a tenth of the scale of its lending in member states relative to the size of their economies.
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