REVEALED: UK government has paid £billions to the EU without you knowing

These sums never appear on official HM Treasury statements of net EU contributions

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

Exclusive: Brexit Facts4EU.Org reveals the extent of the deception

The concealed payments to the EU which you are about to read about will even continue to be paid by HM Treasury to the EU after December, when the Transition Period is supposed to end.

For years the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team has been warning about the sums being paid by HM Treasury to the EU, without these sums ever appearing on the official HM Treasury statements as part of our net contributions. They have been paid direct to the EU Commission and to the European Investment Bank.

These payments relate to EU funds which the EU describes as “off-budget”. We describe them as “off-the-books” because this is in effect is what they are. They are, however, officially documented and Brexit Facts4EU.Org has a record of these transactions.

Below we provide our latest summary of these “off-the-books” payments to the EU and reveal how they will continue even after the Transition Period ends.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The UK's hidden payments to the EU

  • £8.5 billion paid to the EU since 2008 has never been counted by HM Treasury in the total of UK contributions
  • This UK taxpayer money bypasses the official EU budget, but it has been paid to the EU nonetheless
  • “Off-the-books” EU payments will continue for more than a decade after we leave at the end of this year

What are these “off-the-books” EU funds?

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

  • European Development Fund, 10th Fund - € 22.7 bn
  • European Development Fund, 1th Fund - € 30.5 bn
  • Facility for Refugees in Turkey, Tranche 1 - € 3.0 bn
  • Facility for Refugees in Turkey, Tranche 2 - € 3.0 bn
  • Emergency EU Trust Fund for Africa - € 0.6 bn
  • TOTAL SINCE 2008: € 59.8 BILLION (Approx £52 BILLION GBP)

These funds relate to the 12-year period 2008-2020, but there are similar funds which go back much further.

The current "off-the-books" EDF fund which the EU is running today amounts to €30.5 billion.

Here is what the UK has been paying to the EU

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

BF4EU.Org statistician note 1: Please note that neither the EU Commission nor the Dept for International Development are apparently able to forecast the amount of further payments to these EU funds beyond 2022. The one thing we do know is that payments to these EU funds have generally continued for up to 10 years after the funds have ostensibly closed.

BF4EU.Org statistician note 2: The time periods used by DFID, HM Treasury, and the House of Commons Library do not match up with the actual time periods for these EU funds as defined in Brussels. We have done our best to present as true a picture as possible to the Government's position, although we believe the real position may be worse.

We started publishing on this in 2016…. In 2018 the National Audit Office got involved

After years of us publishing on this matter, the National Audit Office (NAO) picked it up in their 2018 report on Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

Pics: Above - Rt Hon Theresa May MP, 2016
Right - Ollie Robbins, civil servant

It must be remembered that Theresa May’s and Ollie Robbins's Withdrawal Agreement was not changed by Boris Johnson and his team in late 2019 except for the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The statement below from the NAO therefore still stands.

National Audit Office Report, 2018

“HM Treasury’s estimate [of payments to the EU] does not include the commitment deriving from the Withdrawal Agreement that the UK will continue to participate in the current European Development Fund (EDF), which covers the period from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020.”

“The EDF is the European Union’s (EU’s) main instrument for providing development aid. HM Treasury expects the UK to make payments worth €3.3 billion (£2.9 billion) after the UK’s withdrawal, with payments forecast to continue until 2026.”

“The government considers this commitment to be outside the financial settlement because the EDF is not established under the EU treaties and sits outside the EU budget. It also expects to meet these commitments through existing legislation rather than the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which gives the government authority to make financial settlement payments.”

National Audit Office, 2018 report

Remainer May secretly continued to commit UK taxpayers to more EU contributions

The National Audit Office did not mention the fact that the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, was still signing up the UK to continued “off-the-books” payments to the EU, AFTER the British people had voted to leave the EU in the Referendum of June 2016.

A second tranche of Angela Merkel’s “Facility for Refugees in Turkey” was agreed at the EU Council Summit of June 2018, but Prime Minister May never mentioned it in her Summit report to MPs in Parliament [Source: Hansard.]

How much is the UK paying compared to the other EU countries?

According to the EU Parliament, the UK is financing the largest of these “off-the-books” EU funds - the “European Development Fund” (EDF) – by far more than other EU countries.

  • 10th EDF - 14.82%
  • 11th EDF - 14.68%

These are huge percentages for one country amongst 28 countries to bear - particularly for a country whose people have voted to leave.

When it comes to the Facility for Refugees in Turkey the situation gets even more shocking

This EU fund was devised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in late 2015 to encourage President Erdogan of Turkey to stem the flow of migrants flooding into the EU as a result of Frau Merkel’s disastrous ‘all welcome here’ policy.

This specifically relates to a Schengen problem. The Schengen agreement defined the supposedly borderless area of the EU. The UK is not and never has been part of Schengen. Nevertheless the UK Government agreed in 2016 to pay 16.5% of the first €3 billion fund for the Turkish government. At its summit in June 2018 the EU Council formally considered a second tranche of €3 billion, and approved it.

That makes a total of €6 billion for the EU's Turkey Fund alone

€2 billion of this comes from the EU budget into which the UK still makes its annual contributions. The remaining €4 billion is in effect voluntary and is “off-the-books”. It is not in the EU Treaties nor in the approved EU budget and it was requested to come from individual member states. Prime Minister David Cameron voluntarily agreed to the first tranche of this in early 2016.

Prime Minister Mrs May then voluntarily agreed to the second tranche of it, despite the British public having voted to leave the EU and the country being (ostensibly) only nine months away from leaving the EU. The additional voluntary contribution from the UK was circa €330 million euros.

As an indication of the problems Angela Merkel brought upon her country and subsequently on the whole of the EU for years, below is a chart we produced back in 2018. It shows the enormous rise in spending in Germany on refugees following Frau Merkel's astonishing "Wir schaffen das" (We can can do it) policy.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

Incidentally, we do not recognise the official DFID figures for the second tranche of the EU's Turkey Fund and believe that these are understated. That said, even if we believed the official figures, the amounts sent by the UK to the EU which are “off-budget” and do not appear in HM Treasury’s (or the BBC’s) summary of our contributions to the EU, are truly shocking.


Naturally the BBC has had no interest in our revelations about all these off-budget payments to Brussels which have no basis in EU Treaty law. And yes, we do have a list of the payments, and no, they do not make for pretty reading.

We now live in a Coronavirus apocalyptic world where the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) - set up by former Chancellor and arch-Remainer George Osborne - is telling us all that we’re facing a 35% drop in GDP this quarter.

This OBR 'prediction/scenario' is something that no-one reading this article has faced in their entire lifetimes. Not even close. It makes the 2008 crash look like an occasion to break lockdown rules, pop the champagne, and have a party.

Okay, so the OBR has a forecasting record almost as abysmally-bad as that of HM Treasury, but it doesn’t take a Cray supercomputer to figure out that the Coronavirus lockdown being imposed on us all is currently trashing our economy.

In the Coronavirus-induced crash, money matters

At times like these, every £100 million the Government can spend is vital. It can have a real effect on people’s lives, whether it be used for buying PPE equipment to protect frontline health workers, or for payments to hard-working, self-employed people who will not otherwise be able to pay their bills at the end of the month.

To report on £8.5 BILLION POUNDS of expenditure being wasted on the EU gives us no pleasure whatsoever.

We would just remind Boris Johnson and his Ministers of one thing. The rules of the EU Treaty on leaving the EU say that :-

“The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

There is nothing in Article 50 about having to make voluntary, off-the-books payments to the EU for years after we have left.

It is for reasons such as this, as well as many reasons more like them, that the United Kingdom absolutely MUST extricate itself finally from this dysfunctional and totalitarian nightmare called the EU at the earliest opportunity.


To research, write, edit, create charts, code up, publish, and promote an article like this takes many days' work for many team members. We can only maintain this freedom of speech if a kind person like you donates, because sadly we do not have any rich backers. We badly need your help because increasing numberts of people are having to cancel their monthly donations to us due to the economic situation.

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[ Sources: EU Commission | HM Treasury | Office for Budget Responsibility | House of Commons Library | EU Parliament ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 21 Apr 2020

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