How much does the UK pay to the EU (again)

Boris Johnson has recently stirred up (again) the issue of how much the UK pays towards the EU budget, repeating claims of £350M being sent to the EU every week.

I wrote about payments from the UK to the EU in an earlier article at

https://politick.co.uk/how-much-does-membership-of-the-eu-cost-the-uk/.

The latest figures, for 2016, have been published and presented to Parliament by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and are available at

European Union Finances 2016 (pdf)

The following chart shows the contribution required from each member state towards the EU budget for 2016.

Note, that this is the 6th amendment Draft Amending Budget 6 to the 2016 Budget, European Commission to the budget and shows that the budget itself appears to be in a constant state of flux. Also note that the calculationn of the rebate for the UK can be adjusted for up to 4 years following the budget year.

It would be a lot easier to see what payments have actually been made if we had access to the UK’s Bank statement – this would settle the argument once and for all! Confused ? (you should be) just take a look at figures provided in the “official” document!

The following table shows the UK’s gross payments, rebate, public sector receipts and net public sector contributions to the EU Budget for calendar years 2010 to 2016. The figures for 2016 include estimates, those for earlier years are outturn 1

Figures from the EU Commission are in the following table

The EU financial year runs from 1 January to 31 December, whereas the UK’s runs from 1 April to 31 March. The following table gives a breakdown of the UK’s transactions with the EU on a financial year basis between 2010-11 and 2015-16.

The only thing thats seems to be clear is that:

The UK makes monthly payments to the EU.

The actual payment is equivalent to the Gross amount, less the rebate (from the previous year).

The payments made in 2016 would be (approximately)

£16,996,000,000 less £3,878,000,000 = £13,118.000,000

or just over £1 Billion monthly (£13,118,000,000 / 12 = £1.093,000,000)

or around £252,000,000 per week

or around £36,000,000 per day

or around £1,500,000 per hour

These figures do not take into consideration Public Sector payments received by the UK from the EU which would determine the overall net figure paid by the UK over the year.

Other points to note:

  • The rebate is deducted from the UK’s GNI-based contribution a year in arrears, e.g. the rebate in 2015 relates to UK payments and receipts in 2014
  • The Commission is directly and solely responsible for calculating the UK’s rebate. It calculates the rebate on the basis of a forecast of contributions to the EU Budget and the UK’s receipts from it. This is subsequently corrected in the light of outturn figures.
  • Corrections may be made for up to three years after the year in respect of which the rebate relates, with a final calculation then being made in the fourth year, e.g. a final calculation of the rebate in respect of 2015 will take place in 2019.
  • The effect of the rebate is to reduce the amount of the UK’s monthly GNI-based payments to the EU Budget. It does not involve any transfer of money from the Commission or other member states to the Exchequer.

Other references

The UK’s EU membership fee

EU expenditure and revenue 2014-2020 (European Commission)

Consolidated Annual Accounts of the European Union 2016 (pdf)

Notes:

  1. Outturn : The actual amounts, results etc. at the end of a period of activity, rather than those that were expected or calculated earlier