Local MEP Jonathan Arnott has pointed out that last year the UK paid the European Union £159 million per week more than it received back.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the total ‘membership fee’ was £363 million per week, but the net figure comes after taking into account our rebate and EU funding.
This means that, between the date of the referendum and leaving the EU in March 2019, the British taxpayer will have forked out – net – an incredible £22.8 billion to the European Union.
UKIP’s Treasury spokesman Jonathan Arnott MEP said: “To put these figures into context, the net membership fee alone is the equivalent of over two pence in the pound on income tax.
“This isn’t what people thought they were voting for in the EU referendum. We voted to end British cash going to the European Union, not for the tap to keep flowing. It truly beggars belief that even these eye-watering amounts of money aren’t giving Theresa May pause to think – she’s still agreeing to hand many billions more over to the EU in a so-called ‘divorce bill’, which hasn’t the slightest legal basis.
“British politicians often pretend they have a magic money tree, but the European Union actually has one. It’s called the British taxpayer.
“In a surprisingly political move by the Office for National Statistics, the figures for 2016 have been calculated differently to all previous years – removing the rebate, in an apparent bid to undermine figures used by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign,” he added.