‘Eye-popping’ 20 per cent increase to budget contribution
Britain’s payments to the European Union budget swelled by an 'eye-popping' 20 per cent in the year to March 31st, despite the country having voted to leave the EU all the way back in 2016.
The sums British taxpayers sent to Brussels to feed EU spending rose by £2.6 billion to £15.5 billion, according to Treasury figures.
This is a punishment of sorts for Britain’s relative economic success.
That success comes despite inaccurate pre-referendum claims that a 'Leave' vote would tank the economy.
There are also contemporary claims that the threat of 'No Deal Brexit' is grinding the economy to a halt — as the EU extracts more money from member-states the more strongly they are performing, according to a fairly opaque formula based on gross national income.
This formula has been altered to slap bigger bills on Britain in the past, with the EU increasing Britain’s obligations by almost £2 billion in 2014 after deciding its estimates of the size of Britain’s so-called black economy should be taken into account, for example.
'These figures are "eye-popping"'
'These figures are "eye-popping",' commented Iain Duncan Smith, the Brexit-supporting former Tory leader and Work and Pensions secretary who now chairs Boris Johnson’s leadership campaign, and is expected to make a dramatic return to frontline politics if Johnson succeeds Theresa May as Prime Minister.
'It’s ironic that as [Chancellor of the Exchequer] Philip Hammond launches his final [Project Fear] tirade whilst voting against his Government — without having the decency or principle to resign — the Treasury shows that an increasing amount of British taxpayers’ money continues to pour into bottomless EU coffers.'
'If this money had remained at home it could have paid for 50,000 more police officers on the streets or funded 81,000 social care beds.'