Well, I guess we all knew that the figure wasn’t accurate, and certainly, by the morning after the referendum we knew that the £350 million a week wasn’t going anywhere near the NHS, but until now, I had no idea just HOW inaccurate Boris’s bus was.
According to the “Standard”: For the 12 months to March 2017, the UK made a net contribution of £8.1 billion or about £156 million a week – its lowest level for five years and nowhere close to the £350 million claimed by Brexiteers.
That figure includes the rebate that the UK gets and the money which is paid directly to the UK government. Again, from the article:
The rebate in 2016-17 was £4.8 billion. Subtracting this from the gross contribution gives a figure of £12.2 billion. A further subtraction of the EU’s payments to the UK public sector gives the final figure of £8.1 billion, or about £156 million a week.
But the EU also makes payments to the private sector and to universities, including funding for the Erasmus education programme. This is thought to amount to around £1.5 billion a year (around £29 million a week). So even the £156 million a week is not accurate.
Additionally, for the approximately £125 million a week the UK pays, the EU provides a large variety of regulatory services and organisations which will have to be replicated by the British government. The setup and running of them won’t be cheap.
It’s worth noticing that, contrary to popular notion here, the UK is not the top contributor to the EU, although it pays more than it gets out. Per capita (surely the only way to measure this) the UK pays less than The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Austria and France. Not a bad deal for a country that likes to brag that it is one of the richest in the world and certainly one of the most important.