One of the main reasons for being in the EU is quoted as being “for trade”. However, this is a gross deception as:

  • There is no benefit to trade with the EU through being in the EU (*)
  • We do not have to be in the EU to trade with the EU (**)
  • We do not have to have a trade agreement with the EU to trade with the EU (**)

So, how much has it cost us to be in the EU for over 40 years on this falsehood?

Since the UK joined the EEC in 1973 trading with the EEC/EU has currently cost us over

£1,250 billion (***)

(NB: However, we have made a profit of £245 billion trading with the rest of the world.) (****)


UK taxpayers have given our EU competitors net budgetary contributions currently costing over

£415 billion (+)

Note: £1,250 billion + £415 billion = UK’s National Debt!

Incredibly, the total current cost to our economy of EU membership has apparently never been declared, so the remain campaign is arguing to stay in without really knowing how much being in the EU has cost us. However, using Prof Congdon’s cost figure of £185 billion for 2014 the total current cost to the UK economy can be shown to be in the order of

£8,500 billion (++)

How much does the EU cost us annually?

In 2014 the UK exported £228 billion worth of goods and services to the EU. By avoiding EU import duties UK exporters saved about £2.28 billion at an average import duty of 1%. The UK imported £288 billion worth of goods from the EU. Hence, the UK economy lost in import duties in 2014 alone nearly

£3 billion

Due to being in the EU the average UK householder had to pay nearly £1,000 /annum extra which cost us

£25 billion

According to Prof. Congdon the cost to our economy in 2014 of being in the EU was

£185 billion

Those are the costs of being in the EU which we have already paid. If the UK stays in the EU after the referendum the future liabilities possibly include having to contribute to bail outs for many EU countries with government debt to GDP ratios worse than the UK’s as follows:

UK 90%, Ireland 91%, Eurozone 92%, France 96%, Spain 99%, Belgium 106%, Cyprus 107%, Portugal 128%, Italy 132% and Greece 180%

In addition there are increasing budgetary contributions and VAT put on children’s clothes and food allegedly scheduled by the EU to be applied after the referendum. The UK has only an 8% say in any EU decisions and was unable to prevent the 5% VAT on tampons being applied.

Also, the prospect of our children and grandchildren working all their lives to help pay for EU pensions which will cost over

30,000 billion euros (+++).

So staying in the EU means far more cost to our economy and taxpayers.

All for no benefit at all to the average UK taxpayer and householder.



(*) See Civitas report, “Where’s the insider advantage?” by Michael Burrage which concludes that there is no insider advantage to trading with the EU through being in the EU.

(**) See Table 1 of the report by Michael Burrage referred to in note 1 above.

(***) Based on published UK/EU balance of trade figures from 1973, corrected to 2014 values using Ref 1 and totalled for the years 1973 to 2015.

(****) Current accumulated value of our trade with the rest of the world from 1973 to 2012 corrected to 2012 values using Ref 1 was a surplus of £245 billion.

(+) Net contribution budgetary figures scaled off gross contributions and public sector receipts plotted on UK payments to EU budget, from eu-referendum-fact-checking-the-big-claims, corrected to 2014 values using Ref 1 and totalled for the years 1973 to 2014. This figure does not of course include the £billions paid by UK householders to fund the EU’s CAP, VAT and green levies.

 (++) Although a total cost of being in the EU since 1973 is not available one example may be estimated as follows. The total cost (direct and indirect) to the UK of being in the EU for the year 2014 was estimated by Professor Tim Congdon as being £185 billion (ref. “How much does the EU cost Britain?”). The increase in annual cost to the UK from 1972 (when the cost was nil) to 2014 is thus £185 billion divided by 42, i.e. an average annual increase of £4.4 billion per year. Correcting, using ref. 1 values, each year’s estimated cost to 2014 and then totalling this adjusted cost over the whole period of the UK’s membership, we get a total of £8.5 trillion (£280,000/taxpayer). This is 5 times larger than the current national debt of the UK.

(+++) There is a massive “hole” looming in the pension funding for many EU countries according to a study commissioned by the European Central Bank. The 18 EU countries in the report compiled by the Research Center for Generational Contracts at Freiburg University in 2009 showed that the largest pension liabilities in per cent of GDP can be found in France (362.2), Poland (361.1) and Austria (359.9), followed by Germany (329.6) and Italy (323.1). The lowest liabilities have been calculated for Lithuania (179.9) and Latvia (124.8) followed by the United Kingdom (91.2) authors Christoph Mueller, Bernd Raffelhueschen and Olaf Weddige said in the report.



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