EU membership: a nice little earner for the UK

Membership of the EU makes a nice profit for the UK – but you won’t hear ‘Leave’ campaigners saying so.

We know that the UK pays slightly more than £350 million every week into the EU’s budget. This is a figure that has been bandied about by Brexiters since Day One, and was (misguidedly) painted onto one campaign’s ‘battle bus’.

I say “misguidedly” because it is a gross contribution that does not take account of rebates and money taken by the private and public sectors as a result of our membership. The actual cost is £161 million per week.

Here’s the BBC’s infographic on the subject.

[Image: BBC.]

[Image: BBC.]

Even this does not give the full story.

You know those pesky immigrants? The ones who are taking all our benefits, clogging up the NHS and classrooms, and moving into all our houses and giving nothing back, if you believe the Brexiters?

Don’t believe the Brexiters.

The Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (yes, this is a real organisation) tells us that public revenues raised from EU migrants is more than £281 million per week.

Here’s the infographic:

160614 UK revenue from migrants

Let’s add this new figure to the total cost of EU membership and see what we get:

A profit of £120 million per week.

That’s nearly £6.25 billion every year!

And that’s only revenues coming to the UK Treasury. We haven’t even considered the profits being made by private businesses trading within the EU.

This raises a very important question:

Why are ‘Leave’ campaigners and Brexiters trying to convince you to throw this profit away?


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11 thoughts on “EU membership: a nice little earner for the UK

  1. Philip Weaver

    Good article, but a mistake at the start. “We know that the UK pays slightly more than £350 million every YEAR”. This should be every WEEK

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Thanks – somebody just pointed it out on Facebook as well. I’ll correct.

  2. David Woods

    So where’s this money going to, because the poor, sick and disabled don’t see any benefit, and we are forever being told by government and councils ‘There is not enough money’!

    Trading partnership ‘Yes’ (as it was originally sold to us) EU membership No!
    British citizens have never had an option with political integration, we were never asked only told!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The money is going into the UK Treasury and is helping reduce the national deficit. Remember that?
      Membership of what became the EU was originally sold to us as an ever-close political union, by Harold Wilson, back in the 1960s – so you are mistaken about that.
      Those of us who could vote back then were asked back in the 1970s.

    2. anesthetize666

      Well, for a start, a lot of charities, education providers and local authorities receive ESF funding from the EU, since the Government cut funding. I worked for two charities that relied heavily on EU funding.

  3. Chris Bergin.

    It has occurred to me that some very large landowners will no longer recieve handouts from Brussels just for owning the land, can we guess who will subsidise them if we do leave? quite a few very favoured rentier types will be looking for more tax breaks at the very least. be prepared to wave farewell to NHS, schools, council services of any sort and probably the benefit and pension system as well. Our resident millionaire class will have a field day.

  4. Jim Duncanson

    You forgot to mention all the fines the EU has imposed on the UK for admin errors (mainly in the farming subsidies area). Is it something like £400 million and counting?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Even so, that would hardly make a dent in the amounts of money we’re discussing here.

  5. Mark Addison

    If we are getting 125 million a week in profit, why are we still in a deficit, why does the government want to sell off the NHS and the Schools, pretty soon everything will belong to money hungry businesses and we won’t have a say in how anything is run anymore. You said that the money is going into the treasury, yet every year they report a larger deficit. The CEBR have forecast a 30bn deficit in just 3 years time

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      We have a very large deficit, that’s why.
      But it is coming down. No, the Treasury hasn’t been reporting a larger deficit every year.
      In fact, if it’s £30 billion in three years’ time, that will mean it has reduced to just one-fifth of what it was when the Tories took over.
      They’ve done it badly, by cutting and selling-off instead of building the economy, meaning our position is extremely precarious, but even I can’t argue that it hasn’t come down.

      1. Mark Addison

        At Budget time in March 2017:
        The UK National Debt is estimated to be £1.64 trillion.

        The National Debt increased rapidly and went over £1 trillion in 2011. At the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year, the National Debt is expected to go over £1.5 trillion.

        For the fiscal year ending in March 2017:
        The “current budget deficit*” is estimated to be £19 billion.
        The difference between spending (including capital expenditure) and revenue is estimated to be £55.4 billion.
        The increase in UK “net debt” is estimated to be £47.8 billion.
        * Defined by Office of Budget Responsibility as (current expenditure – current receipts – depreciation)
        So this year they estimate £19 billion as the deficit, but in 3 years time they are estimating £30 billion (yes it could be revised and come down as they readjust each year anyway) but this figures are based on staying in the EU, so if we are getting so much from the EU, why do they forecast the deficit going up in 3 years from what it currently is now.

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