EU membership is a bargain

Jon Danzig |

Being a member of the EU costs us only around 34p a day each. That’s a bargain, especially as the value of EU benefits far outweigh the cost.

The Confederation of British Industry has estimated that EU membership is worth around £3,000 a year to every British family — a return of nearly £10 for each £1 we pay in.

So, in reality, EU membership costs nothing – it makes Britain, and Britons, better off.

(Source: CBI – Our Global Future report, page 11)

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The calculations for our annual EU membership fee have been published by the UK’s Office of National Statistics.

(Source: ONS)

When deducting from the EU membership fee all the money we get back from the EU, including our £5 billion rebate that’s never actually sent to the EU, the net cost of EU membership in 2016 was only £8.1 billion – or £156 million a week, or just 34p per person per day

That’s far short of the claim made on Boris Johnson’s campaign bus that we send £350m a week to the EU. That was entirely incorrect.

But after the referendum, the Vote Leave campaign director, Dominic Cummings wrote:

“Would we have won without £350m/NHS? All our research and the close result strongly suggests no.”

(Source: Spectator)

So, we are leaving the EU based on a whopper of a lie (actually, lots of whopping lies).

Ok, if Mr Johnson had instead put ‘£156m a week’ on his bus, it would still have seemed a lot of money. But something Brexiters never like to do is reveal how much we get back in return for the membership fee.

Back in 2011, this was estimated by the government to be between £30 billion and £90 billion a year – a return of between 800% and 2370%.

(Source: UK government)

Can anyone name any other government expenditure that gives a return of over 800%?

Let’s put this in another context.

In 2016, the government spent £814.6 billion on all aspects of public spending. This means that the net annual EU membership fee represented only 1% of all UK government expenditure. (A miniscule amount).

Furthermore, the EU funds many thousands of projects in the UK every year, that our national government would be unlikely to finance. Such as Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport, or superfast broadband in Cornwall.

(Source: European Commission)

In addition, across Europe, our annual membership fee helps to fund projects that benefit our continent and its people as a whole – such as Galileo, to give Europe its own satellite navigation system.

And the Horizon 2020 project – the world’s biggest multinational research programme, funding leading-edge research in all aspects of science and innovation that will directly benefit all EU citizens.

Individual European countries could not afford to take on the projects that the EU helps to fund for the welfare and prosperity of its half-a-billion citizens.

The advantages of EU membership considerably outweigh the cost of membership. So, why are we leaving?

I cannot find one valid or validated benefit for Brexit. Not even one.

Indeed, by NOT paying the annual EU membership fee, we will all be poorer, according to the UK government’s own impact assessment reports.

(Source: The Guardian)


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