Throughout the North East, in every single debate Remain campaigners claim that ‘the North East gets more back in EU funding than it puts in’. The claim is years out of date (our contributions have gone up since then), and includes some quite spurious calculations. Open Europe assess it differently. They found for example (The case for bringing regional funding back home, p16) that Tees Valley & Durham pay in £2.30 for every £1 we get back in regional funding, and that Northumberland, Tyne & Wear pay in £2.35 for every £1 we get back
Whatever the truth, the point is largely irrelevant: outside the EU, as every serious Brexit campaigner agrees, we’d replace that EU funding with UK funding – cutting out the middleman and making sure that the money went even further to help our region.
Even after replacing every euro-cent, we’d still have £10 billion per year spare. That money could give our NHS the funding it needs and we could cut VAT bills on energy. Or, if we preferred, we could give the country a 3-4 pence in the pound income tax cut. Either way, it would be our money and we could spend it on whatever we want.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East