Brexit Bus

The Brexit Bus

Nice headline – “We send the EU £350 million a week”.

The Financial Times has called Vote Leave’s claim “far from accurate” .  Why is that? Primarily because it ignores the very large rebate that the UK gets.

The money that the UK sends Brussels should be calculated after deducting the rebate because the latter doesn’t get sent to Brussels.

In 2015 the UK actually sent £250 million a week to the EU.  A substantially lower figure than that emblazoned on the side of the Brexit Bus.

However that’s not the end of the calculation. The British government also receives money back from the EU, primarily for farming subsidies and regional aid.  A very small, local, example of the latter is the Ilfracombe Dotto Land Train, which received a large dollop of cash from the EU.

The UK private sector also benefits from EU money,  primarily for research – and it does very, very well in attracting research money.

Britain also includes some EU spending against its foreign aid target.

After taking into account all those figures the net cost to Britain was about £120 million a week (ignoring any other benefits from EU membership).