The UK’s contribution to the EU budget

A recent research briefing, dated 12 June 2017, is available from the House of Commons library and examines how much the UK contributes to the EU budget and how much it receives back.

The actual net contribution figure made by the UK appears to depend on how the figures have been calculated as there are different ways measuring the funds the UK receives from the EU. This paper is based on figures from HM Treasury but also shows the EU Commissions calculation of the UK’s budget contribution.

The paper also mentions that the EU expects the UK to make a payment as part of the process of leaving the EU (the so called Exit Bill or Divorce Bill) to cover it’s ongoing share of the EU’s future financial committments and possible future access to the Single Market.

The legal position of the Exit Bill is somewhat uncertain with a Lords Committee stating:

On the basis of the legal opinions we have considered we conclude that, as a matter of EU law, Article 50 TEU [the Treaty on the European Union] allows the UK to leave the EU without being liable for outstanding financial obligations under the EU budget and related financial instruments, unless a withdrawal agreement is concluded which resolves this issue.

and the subject is also discussed elsewhere, for example an interesting article can be found on the Blog of the European Journal of International Law at

The Exit Bill is scheduled as one of the initial items to be discussed in the opening rounds of the Brexit negotiations.

An earlier guide to the EU Budget, dated January 2017, is also available from the House of Commons Library at

A Guide to the EU Budget (pdf)

The UK’s contribution to the EU Budget (pdf)