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How much does UK pay to the EU?

Does EU membership make sense? That’s the question that analysts have been asking a lot since the global financial crisis came to these shores. The answer isn’t an easy one to come to and it’s not just determined by the amount of cash that flows from the UK to the EU, but how much does the UK pay to the EU?
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UKIP

The leaders or UKIP have been banding about a figure that would cause alarm in anyone. If Nigel Farage is to be believed, the UK pays the EU £55 million a day. That works out at £20 billion a year for EU membership. Nick Clegg believes that this figure should be halved thanks to EU rebates and if you count what British farmers, for instance, receive from the Common Agricultural Policy, the UK is paying out less than half the figure UKIP’s leaders have been telling tabloid journalists about.

Gross contribution

What these party leaders can agree on is that £55 million per day represents a “gross contribution” to the EU. The Net figure is still staggering though as £33 million a day is still a large chunk of change. So where does this money go? It contributes to the EU budget and it also covers custom duties and agricultural levies. Rebates help to lower the cost and the Agricultural Guarantee Fund to farmers, which was worth as much as £8 billion in 2012, also helps lower the cost of EU membership for the UK.

Treasury

If you’re confused by these numbers already, you’ll be more befuddled when you read that the numbers published by the Treasury on an annual basis only take into account government official transactions and don’t consider direction transactions involving households.

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