UK would be in for £32bn liability next year, if an EU member - new EU budget

Commission reveals staggering cost of EU membership in 2023

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

If the UK were to rejoin the EU tomorrow, the liability would be three times higher than in 2016

On Tuesday (07 June 2022) the EU Commission revealed its budgets for next year. Based on the information provided, and assuming the UK’s share of the costs would be very similar to those in 2016, next year the British taxpayer would have a gross liability around three times the net costs quoted during the EU Referendum campaign.

In fact the total liability is likely to be higher because if the UK were to rejoin it is inevitable that it would lose its rebate. This would result in a huge rise in the UK's net costs.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

  • EU’s proposed 2023 budget plus ‘NextGenerationEU’ : £256bn
  • UK’s share of the gross liability (based on historical 12.5% average): £32bn

[Note: Converted from Euros @ £1=€1.17 euros]

Yesterday the EU Commission released a statement

“The Commission has today proposed an annual EU budget of €185.6 billion for 2023, to be complemented by an estimated €113.9 billion in grants under NextGenerationEU.”

“The Commission will continue to prioritise green and digital investments while addressing pressing needs arising from recent and current crises.”

- EU Commission, 07 June 2022

If the EU Commission means what it says, the annual budget for next year, complemented (i.e. added to) by the ‘NextGenerationEU’ instrument, brings the total liability to €299.5bn euros, or circa £256bn GBP.

Over the years Facts4EU.Org has conservatively used 12.5% as the share of EU spending which the UK has been accountable for. On this basis the British taxpayer would be in for a gross liability of £32bn next year, if it were to rejoin the EU. This does not include the various ‘off-budget’ EU funds which the UK has also contributed to, generally at a higher percentage.

Even without ‘NextGenerationEU’ which is funded by borrowing, the standard EU budget of €185.6bn euros would equate to a gross UK contribution of almost £20bn for 2023 – around double the net contribution for 2016.

Commissioner Johannes Hahn, responsible for the EU Budget, said:

“We are continuing to put forward extraordinary amounts of funding to support Europe's recovery and to tackle current and future challenges. The budget remains an important tool the Union has at its disposal to provide clear added value to people's lives. It helps Europe shape a changing world, in which we are working together for peace, prosperity and our European values.”

Additional proposals to finance the impact of the war in Ukraine both externally and internally will be tabled later in the year, as per the European Council conclusions of 31 May 2022.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Here are just some of the things the EU Commission will spend this money on

  • €103.5 billion in grants from NextGenerationEU under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) following the coronavirus pandemic and to address the challenges posed by the war in Ukraine
  • €53.6 billion for the Common Agricultural Policy and €1.1 billion for the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, for Europe's farmers and fishers
  • €46.1 billion for ‘regional development and cohesion’ to support economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as infrastructure supporting the green transition and Union priority projects
  • €14.3 billion to support the EU’s partners and interests in the world, of which €12 billion under the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, €2.5 for the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, and €1.6 billion for Humanitarian Aid
  • €13.6 billion for research and innovation, and it would receive an extra €1.8 billion in grants from NextGenerationEU
  • €4.8 billion for ‘European strategic investments’ , of which €341 million for InvestEU for key priorities and would receive an extra €2.5 billion in grants from NextGenerationEU
  • €4.8 billion for ‘people, social cohesion, and values’, of which €3.5 billion Erasmus+, €325 million for 'artists and creators around Europe', and €212 million ‘to promote justice, rights, and values’
  • €2.3 billion for environment and climate action, topped up with an extra €5.4 billion in grants from NextGenerationEU
  • €2.2 billion for spending dedicated to space, mainly for the European Space Programme
  • €2.1 billion for protecting the EU’s borders, of which €1.1 billion for the Integrated Border Management Fund and €839 million for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex)
  • €1.6 billion for migration-related spending, of which €1.4 billion to support migrants and asylum-seekers
  • €1.2 billion ‘to address defence challenges’
  • €927 million ‘to ensure the smooth functioning of the Single Market’
  • €732 million for ‘EU4Health’
  • €689 million for security, of which €310 million for the Internal Security Fund to combat terrorism, radicalisation, organised crime, and cybercrime
  • €138 million for secure satellite connections

The draft budget for 2023 is part of the Union's long-term budget as adopted by the Heads of State and Governments at the end of 2020, including subsequent technical adjustments.

The EU Commission and its climate agenda

“A significant part of the funds will therefore be dedicated to combatting [sic] climate change, in line with the target to spend 30% of the long-term budget and the NextGenerationEU recovery instrument on this policy priority.”

- EU Commission statement, 07 June 2022


The EU Commission continues to plan more and more spending each year

Rejoiners say “Yes but we get so much back”.

Unfortunately this has never been true. Our research over seven years has shown that the United Kingdom gave the EU Commission more than any other country apart from Germany - and consistently only got back a small proportion in grants.

Some of the funds, such as the massive ‘Cohesion Fund’, and the ‘Accession Instrument’, specifically excluded the UK from receiving a single penny.

Now that the United Kingdom has left and no longer pays for the EU Commission’s profligacy going forward, the monies which the UK taxpayer would have been liable for can now be spent in the United Kingdom, for the benefit of the UK’s own citizens.

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[ Sources: EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Thurs 09 June 2022

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