• EU membership is very expensive – since joining the EU in 1973, the UK has sent over £500 billion of our money to the EU, over three times the annual NHS budget

  • The EU now costs the UK over £350 million every week – nearly £20 billion a year.

  • That is sixty times what we spend on the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund. It is enough to build a new, fully-staffed NHS hospital every week.

  • On top of this, EU regulation costs UK businesses over £600 million every week.


Since Britain joined the EU in 1973, we have paid over £500,000,000,000 into the EU – that’s half a trillion pounds, or one third of our national debt. Over the past decade alone, Britain paid over £150 billion to the EU budget. We send about £350 million to Brussels every week. This is about half the English schools budget, four times the Scottish schools budget, four times the science budget, and about 60 times what we spend on the NHS Cancer Drugs fund.

This money is not well spent. Billions are lost to fraud and waste – in 2014 the EU failed to spend €6.3 billion in accordance with its own rules, and was slammed by its own auditors.

The UK has been one of the largest contributors to the EU budget often contributing much more than other large European countries like France and Italy. Since 1975, we have always paid in far more than what we have taken out.

EU red tape and legislation are also very expensive. Damaging rules often come from lobbying by big multinational corporations trying to eliminate competition from entrepreneurs and small businesses. EU regulation costs UK businesses over £600 million every week and EU law forbids our elected Government from scrapping VAT on key items, from sanitary products to energy bills, pushing up costs for everybody. The EU’s system is rigid, very slow and hard to fix when it goes wrong. Single Market rules include disastrous regulations such as the Clinical Trials Directive that badly delayed the testing of cancer drugs. The costs of the ‘Single Market’ outweigh the benefits.

If we vote to remain in the EU, we are voting to make this damaging situation permanent. UK taxpayers will keep paying for the huge bills caused by the euro crisis. These bills will only increase. All this money could be better spent on the UK’s priorities, like the NHS, schools, and fundamental science research.

That’s why the safer option is to Vote Leave, stop sending £350 million a week to Brussels, and spend that money on our priorities instead.

Key facts

  • The UK’s payments to the EU amount to nearly £20 billion every year.

  • Independent analysis has shown that EU regulation costs the UK £33.3 billion every year. This is on top of our budget contributions to the EU.

  • The EU has the power to impose ‘surcharges’ on the UK at any time. These are very large bills which effectively penalise the UK for having stronger economic growth than other EU states. The EU demanded an extra £1.7 billion from the UK in 2014 – which the Government paid in full even though it promised not to.

  • EU law prevents the UK from cutting VAT on things like energy bills and sanitary products.

Don’t believe BSE’s scaremongering

  • The EU-funded BSE campaign’s claim that households are financially better off inside in the EU has been completely refuted by independent experts. Channel 4’s independent Factcheck said the figures were ‘fiction’.

Further Reading

  • Britain has now paid more than half a trillion pounds to the EU (link)

  • The Single Market is failing British businesses (link)

  • UK lack of influence in the EU costs taxpayer billions (link)

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