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How much does being in the EU 'cost' us? Less than a copy of the Express per day

July 30, 2014 5:20 PM
By James Earley in British Influence

Openess & honesty with money is vitalOne of the most persistent euromyths is that there is a punitive 'cost' associated to our membership of the EU. UKIP's guasstimates, translate in shouty headlines claiming anything from £750 per household to £55 million day for the nation as a whole. But such claims do not withstand even cursory scrutiny.

Taking the UK contribution to the EU budget for 2013 as being £8.6 billion (after the British rebate and public sector receipts), and taking the population of the UK as being 64.1 million, the per capita, per annum contribution we make for belonging to the EU comes at £135.

We then need to balance this sum against the positive economic benefits we enjoy through our membership. The EU makes our economy bigger, with between 3 and 4 million jobs being linked to the Single Market, and allows the UK access to lucrative international trade deals like the ones currently under negotiations with Canada and the USA.

All in all, at £0.37 per person, per day, EU membership looks if anything like a bit of a bargain. It is cheaper than a pint of milk, or indeed than a copy of the Daily Express, one of the papers which most insistently tries to scare people off with the question of the EU's cost.

Sources: Office of National Statistics (Mid 2013 Estimate); HM Treasury (November 2013); "The UK jobs supported by exports to the EU", (an analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research commissioned by British Influence)