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UK paid £156m net per week to the EU last year (not £350m)

UK paid £156m net per week to the EU last year (not £350m)

The UK paid the EU £156 million a week, net, according to Treasury figures, below the £350 million quoted by last year’s Leave campaign.

According to Treasury numbers, the UK made a total net payment of £8.1 billion for the 12 months to March 2017. This works out as a net payment of £156 million per week to the EU for the year 2016/17.

During last year’s EU membership referendum campaign, Vote Leave famously printed the claim ‘We send the EU £350m a week’ on the side of its campaign bus.

The total £8.1 billion figure is what is left after the UK’s rebate has been applied and other payments subtracted.

Before applying the rebate, the UK’s gross contribution to the EU budget was £16.9 billion over the year, or around £325 million a week. The rebate was £4.8 billion. But the EU also makes payments to the UK’s public sector. Once these are taken into account the £8.1 billion net payment figure remains.

The UK pays contributions to the EU only after taking the value of the rebate into account.

The Treasury’s figures do not take into account any payments made by the EU to the private sector.

Quoted in several papers, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: ‘The Leave campaign promised £350 million extra a week for the NHS. Not only have the Brexiteers failed to stump up this extra cash, but it turns out the UK's contribution to the EU was less than half what they claimed.

‘This contribution pales in comparison to the economic benefits we get from being part of the single market and customs union.’

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