Brexit_post_7_saving money

The British EU referendum is entering its final stretch. The two sides have started up again after suspending their campaigns over the weekend, following the tragic murder of British MP Jo Cox. On Thursday 23 June, polling stations will open across the country and British voters will decide the future of their island.

Ahead of the referendum, Debating Europe has been hosting a series of debates about Brexit, and it’s particularly worth checking out our debates on the economy and immigration.

Have you already made your mind up which way to vote? Do YOU think Britain should leave the European Union? Let us know what you think in the poll below:

Today, we’ll be talking about one of the most controversial figures of the campaign. No, not Nigel Farage or Bob Geldof. We mean the figure of £350 million.

The official Leave campaign argues that membership of the EU costs Britain £350 million per week in membership fees, and that this money should be spent instead on “our priorities like the NHS”. The Remain side disputes this number, and argues that leaving the EU wouldn’t free up money to be spent elsewhere.

There is certainly some confusion among our readers about the numbers involved. Many commenters, including Bobbieboy and Maria, use a figure of £55 million a day (which would be £385 million per week). Mike even argues it’s £350 million a day. Of course, when numbers get this big, there’s bound to be confusion; the sums involved are so vast, what difference does a few million make?

The key question, though, is whether this money could be spent on different things. Anne puts it very succinctly:

Image of a citizenWe can spend our £55 million a day on our NHS and schools and helping to eliminate the need for food banks instead of paying un-elected, mostly men, to zoom around in private jets.

To get a response to Anne, we put her comment to Michael Heseltine, former Deputy Prime Minister under John Major, and one of the most prominent pro-Europeans in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet. What would he say?

hesaltineThis is the saddest of all the many claims that those who want to leave Europe have made… The argument is: if we come out, we save 7 billion pounds a year. But, of course, it doesn’t work like that. There are two countries – Norway and Switzerland – who are not members of the European Union but have got trading agreements of the sort that we would have to renegotiate with Europe. And, if you actually look at what they pay for their trading agreements, it’s quite obvious that there would be very little saving, if any, for Britain, because we would have to agree as part of the new negotiations the cost of entry to that market.

But, you know, there is one fundamental difference. Norway, and Switzerland – although having access, and paying for that access – get told the conditions upon which their industrialists can trade. If we put ourselves in that position, we know that the French, Germans, Italians, Spanish, other industrial countries within the European Union, would set the rules, and they would tell us what we had to do. By being a member of the Single European Market, we help design the rules. So, A) We wouldn’t save any money. And B) We would be told what conditions would apply to us.

For another perspective, we also put the same comment to Professor Tim Congdon, a former member of the Treasury Panel of Independent Forecasters and one of the “Wise Men” who advised the Chancellor on economic policy between 1992 and 1997. What would he say to Anne?

congdonBritain sends a contribution to EU institutions under the treaties we have signed with the other EU Member States. The highest number that’s appeared in official documents of payments to the EU is a gross contribution of a bit over £20 billion. Now, if you divide £20 billion by 52, of course you get a figure that is about £350 million a week. But this figure is somewhat misleading, because some of that gross contribution we don’t really pay. There is a rebate, which was negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, and the highest figure that we have paid in any one year in the past is £17 billion, which is about £330 million a week. That was in 2013, according to one definition of these matters.

The figure put out by Vote Leave, £350 million, is an exaggeration in that sense, and not the truth. But it’s an exaggeration founded in fact. The correct figure is more like £200-250 million, and it varies from year to year. It isn’t a sort of cast-iron figure for all time, but something of that size is what we pay to the European Union as a sort of membership fee. If we left, yes, that money would be available to spend on the NHS – if that is what the British government decided. For myself, my view is that the important thing today is to get our budget deficit down, and I wouldn’t have made a promise to spend more on the NHS. I think that was a mistake. However, it is true that, if Britain left the European Union, there would be an extra £200 million at least, per week, available to spend by the British government on whatever it wished, and it could spend it on the NHS if that’s what it thought the British people wanted.

Would leaving the EU save Britain money? Does membership of the European Union really cost the UK £350 million a week? Can that money be spent on the NHS? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Doctorhandshake

108 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • avatar

      Money Money Money
      Typically European that Moneu is always at the forefront lol. Look its not first about money, its about the freedom to govern yourself, to have a flag like the Union Jack that means something, with the UK youbknow what you have, the EU on the other hand still pretends its only about trade even though they have a parliament, executive, defacto supreme court, diplomatic immunity, own currency, anthem etc. Etc
      , soon they will get a EU Army, the reasoning will to protect trade routes, in reality it will be aiming at Russia etc., and it will fight wars in far away lands just like most empires have in history.

  1. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Not having to waste billions every year on the decaying EU of course we will, what an odd question.

    • avatar

      I will happily bet that the UK will save £0 if it wants free trade.

      You will also accept the same amount of migrants.

      Your politicians are useless

  2. avatar
    Pirvulescu Florin

    Of course it would not.

    UK would have to pay tariffs for everything it imports.

    That and the huge flight of capital that is linked to UK`s EU membership.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pirvulescu Florin
      Tariffs can operate both ways BTW.

      The UK can send millions of EU foreigners back home if the going gets tough after any [highly unlikely] Brexit situation.

      Besides, money is not everything, social cohesion and democracy are far more important!

    • avatar

      You keep on talking about democracy Tarquin.

      You either do not know what democracy is. Or you don’t realize you do not have one.

      Cromwell failed and the magna carta is not a constitution.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Please focus on the forum question.

    • avatar
      EU citizen

      All non-whites who voted for Brexit or Trump are going to regret it deeply. Sadly, the far right is on the rise! Will Britain save money yes, after wars there is always more wealth for the remaining population. Run and hide while you can! ( I am not white by the way)

    • avatar
      A.H.L. Anderson

      The EU as a group have a balance of trade surplus with the UK.
      Therefore a surplus tariff. Won’t we do rather well living on, what the Germans call, Treasure Island

  3. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    mha, da una parte ci sta la Germania che sembra sia esportatrice dei suoi prodotti verso l’Inghilterra, dall’altra ci sta l’Inghilterra che esporta “i suoi prodotti bancari ” verso la UE. La Trilaterale ha paura di questo referendum , dei discorsi avvenuti perchè si comincia a parlare apertamente della UE ed hanno “paura” di perdere il controllo . Ancora …. ci stanno gli USA a premere perchè ci vogliono tutti uniti. E’ un referendum consultivo che ha valenza solo per noi che siamo nella UE e nell’euro , non per i Paesi fuori . Ha paura solo chi ne controlla le sorti ( Inghilterra compresa )

    • avatar

      Your right. And do you think it will be spent fairly. Putting money in to developing deprived areas like northern Ireland, Wales or northern England like the EU did.

      Or will your government spend it on the city. Raise your tax’s, cut your benefits and get rid of your pension.

    • avatar

      @Hahahaha,why are you so sad,so negative and so bitter.You and your kind will be proven wrong,in fact ,HAVE been proven wrong,and for some bizarre reason you lack any ambition ,have no ability to take a chance and clearly will never really succeed .You have my pity.

  4. avatar
    Hector Niehues-Jeuffroy

    In 2014, the UK received € 7.1 billion less from the EU than the EU spent in the UK. The question is really how firms would react to a Brexit and whether the UK would be able to strike a deal with the EU that gives it the duty exemptions it previously enjoyed because of its EU membership. If the costs associated with these effects are below €7 billion per year, then Brexit would save Britain money. However, given that most estimates center around a loss of 1-3% of GDP (see e.g. the work done by the CEP on Brexit), it is unlikely that Britain will save a lot of money.

    • avatar

      It will cost the uk 5 to 7 times more than it will save if it chooses to not pay in at all.

      Norway pays more per than the uk and it’s not in the EU

  5. avatar
    Bryan Charles

    Nobody argues that there would be an immediate net saving of 8 billion a year. It is one of the very few Facts as opposed to opinions in the referendum debate. What happens to that money afterwards is debatable, but the fact that this money would be saved is not debatable.

    • avatar

      Yes, it is. Without Europe the £8 bn won’t exist. The uk borrows £8 bn per year from the ECB at 0% to fund Necessity’s like your water. The uk is broke. You owe £1.56 trillion

    • avatar

      It is sad that so many Brits are so ignorant about the EU and always bring up arguments that it is undemocratic when the UK used its veto to stop more powers going the EU Parliament(Democratically elected).
      On the subject of savings we will not save anything the estimates for seamless exports and imports (HMRC) is some 17Billion a year.

  6. avatar
    bert van santen

    Yes, I wish we could also

  7. avatar
    catherine benning

    Listen to this and decide for yourself.

    However my primary reason for voting ‘out’ is because we are impotent as citizens to rid ourselves of those in Europe who are leading us. We have no vote. It is not democratic therefore we can change nothing to better our quality of life or standard of living.

    Those who run this show are the puppets of the financial elite who see us only as a means to make themselves, but not us, richer. Listen to this movie it is telling it as it is. And who is at the back of this game to enslave us all? And added to that are driving us further and further into warring with our neighbours. There are no socialists or left wingers looking after our employment laws, our health service, our farmers, or indeed any organisation that is important to us the people. Think about the last twenty years. Are you or your children looking forward to a better more prosperous future, or, are you clinging to the crumbs that fall from the table after those in the top drawer have finished their meal?

    Why are you paying for your child to have a further education in university? Why are millions of people being allowed to fill our schools, hospitals, social housing, without asking us first if this is what we want for our future?

    It is the EU and their policies that have no concern for our daily life. And they do it at the same time as filling their pockets full of our money. Tax payers money. Whilst they have no moral sense of direction and pay taxes themselves.

    To vote to remain within the EU is the equivalent of cultural and physical suicide.

  8. avatar

    Of course it would not since the EU is the main source of wealth, progress and modernity. What the UK would save on membership fee will far more loose in the isolation that will follow. It’s a strategic error. But they should leave because they are not Europeans, and maintaining the status whereby an anti-European country is empowered to hinder the EU is untenable. The EU has to fulfill its promise of creating a functional United States of Europe.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “The EU has to fulfill its promise of creating a functional United States of Europe”

      There in lies one of the biggest reasons to leave

      ……and don’t imagine that when UK leaves everything in EU land will be rosy, there are plenty of anti-federalists in the remaining countries who will be demanding the same chance the UK is getting….unless of course they deploy their new EU army on the streets to surpress those that oppose them…….watch this space

  9. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    “Thirty pieces of silver- oh’ what hellish gain”! Be it a bit up or a bit down, this way or that way- it’s not my way! Here is my understanding of “Dog-whistle politics”.

    In principle, all good & ethical persons uphold certain principles. However, our Principal and Suzerain devised lots of legalities & regulations to make it undeniable legal to legally enforce principles which go against those- who by instinct and choice- try to remain true to their ethical principles- and reject in principle & as a principle, the Suzerains lust for unstoppable & greedy rule- by reworking & extending UN rules- in order to rule by overruling everyone having extracted all rule from all- until nothing can be extracted & nobody is left to finally be overruled by the new rulers- having looted all our rules. Simple? What’s not “simple” in the EU?

    Who is undermining or selling our rights as enshrined in the 1948 UDHR Charter- specifically as described in Chapter I (Articles 1-2)- by going beyond acceptable cooperation? To spread EU love, democracy far & wide & accommodate- God knows- whom & what? Brexit!

  10. avatar
    Francio Marco

    Brexit will cause big inflaction in all the euro zone and especially in Britain and, like in all these cases, poor people will lose money and rich financial speculators will enrich themself with the money of the poors. But this won’t happen because they are going to vote Remain.

  11. avatar
    Francio Marco

    Brexit will cause big inflaction in all the euro zone and especially in Britain and, like in all these cases, poor people will lose money and rich financial speculators will enrich themself with the money of the poors. But this won’t happen because they are going to vote Remain.

  12. avatar
    David Petty

    Of course it will, for a start we will be £350 million a week better off, any tariffs for exporting goods will be countered with tariffs imposed by ourselves, its a win win situation

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Karolis Girdauskas
      Well said!

    • avatar

      Who are Amesi Dimokratia Press, Catherine, and what mandate have they got to speak on behalf of the “Greek people”? The government of Greece has been voted in order to this.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      The elected Greek government has virtually no say in directing Greece – you need to go to Angela Merkel’s office if you want to know how high Greece will jump, bend over, kow-tow, brown-nose and lick a#?e these days.

  13. avatar

    Yes it will. Investment in healthcare/schools/innovation would almost certainly increase.
    Britain is now the stepping stone to a federal europe. If they remain we in the rest of europe will suffer , we will never again be allowed democratic referendums , it will be written into law.
    How will the british feel when the eu flag flys over downing street, when they have the rotten unwanted euro in their pockets instead of pounds , or having to share thier pensions with the rest of europe , or having to pay hundreds per month for health insurance, the military forced to integrate, etc etc.
    No more queen, after all what are we to do with all the kings and queens.?
    Brussels will waste no time integrating britain into europe after a remain, it will be swift and cruel.
    The name united kingdom will be a thing of the past.
    Getting out is the smartest thing england can do .
    Scare mongering and a bag of dirty tricks are the tools used by the remain campaign.
    I woudnt trust cameron, his motives are quite different than what hes preaching, hes as crooked as a stick in water.
    We 88% in the netherlands want a referendum as bad as the rest of europe and are denied or ignord .
    The british got thier referendum , so dont blow it, take a chance and get out while you still can.. Yes it will save you billions.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Yasmin:

      Look it up for yourself, don’t expect me to do your research for you. I gave the link. If you want more information about who wrote an open letter to the people of the UK, you find out who they are and tell us. That would be good work.

    • avatar

      It’s not down to other people to do research in order to make sense of your comments, Catherine. It is down to you to make a point. You haven’t. There’s no Greek people in your post. It’s just your empty claims again and the low-quality tabloids you’ve been reading…

    • avatar
      John Aird

      My thoughts and suspicions of the EU take all what is good out of Britain and make us totally dependant on them

  14. avatar

    Theoretically, yes, but practically, not really, as Britain will not be making the same money outside of the EU. Contribution is based on GDP and is not a fixed sum.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “Britain will not be making the same money outside of the EU”

      You are clearly more in the know than any UK politician, not one of them has managed to back up that claim with any hard facts

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      It’s NOT just based on GDP, sometimes the EU can force/coerce EU member states (typically the Northern EU countries) to cough up more dosh to prop up the ailing Euro or besieged Greece for example as has been done in the not too distant past.

    • avatar

      Common sense, Paul, no need for hard facts. Every little helps, you know…

    • avatar

      Yet another post of no substance from you, Catherine…

    • avatar
      Paul X

      Yasmine, it is an equally possible theory that with a Brexit vote the value of the pound plummets and UK exports soar creating large amounts of income and jobs?

      That can also be considered a “common sense” scenario, the difference is I’m not spouting it on here as if I have some god given power to predict the future

      You would do far better if you stick to posting comments on topics that are within your comprehension

    • avatar

      Thanks for mansplaining, Paul. Are you taking your own advice though?

    • avatar

      On the contrary Yasmine,I believe Britain will quickly make many trade deals and far from making the same money ,we will in fact become far more prosperous.There are 193 countries in the world (subject to disputes) 53 in the Commonwealth,and most of the basket cases are in the Eu.So not only will we save a great deal,we will also make considerably more.

    • avatar

      It’s not what the experts believe, Bob. Unfortunately, the expectations are very pessimistic. They don’t believe that the UK has the right people or that is physically possible for the government to put in the man hours needed to negotiate these trade deals that you are referring to in 2 years. The big banks are literally waiting for the word “go” to start relocating and with regards to what Paul is saying above, when previously the pound dropped in value the UK didn’t sell more or make more profit. It is believed this is because of the quality of British products. I don’t want to turn this into a personal conversation and you don’t have to answer but in what way are you qualified to make these judgements? Are you a financial expert, do you work in consultancy? Unfortunately, it looks like people in Britain are completely deluded and think that pride is going to make up for the lack of other things. It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately, and the tendency is for countries to form trading blocs. You say that basket case countries are in it…but, excuse me, the poorest in the world is India, which is part of the Commonwealth. The most corrupt ones are in Africa and probably part of the Commonwealth as well. On the contrary, Europe is one of the places with the highest living standards worldwide and the richest economies, Germany, France, are part of the EU and Switzerland also is an associated member. So, I think that you have just been brainwashed and ignore the facts.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Yasmine

      And of course you are filled with gems, LOL

    • avatar

      Yasmine • June 21st, 2016 • 

      Yet another post of no substance from you, Catherine…
      But when all else fails, you can always try sarcasm…

    • avatar

      Just make sure you are not making any point, and, even better, post it as a response to the wrong person. LOL!

  15. avatar
    Dean Plassaras

    Even if it were about money, the answer is YES. The current UK contributions amount to 7% of GDP and tariffs imposed on Britain post-Brexit would only cost 3%.

    • avatar

      The contribution is around 0.6% actually and I’m impressed you can say the cost will be 3% with such accuracy and confidence.

      1 day after the out vote, the uks biggest companies lost 12% of their value

      1 day

      You have an eternity of negative growth to look forward to

      Scotland won’t hang on to an ideological union at the cost of its peoples wellbeing.

      Wealth keeps people happy. Isis know this and destabilise countries to recruit far right twats like farage and his racist fascist followers.

  16. avatar

    We can’t just make this about money! Really would be a waste of an oppertunity, it’s also not just about Britain. This referendum could and should be a starting point for a discusion on democracy, a chance for all Europeans to stand up and say STOP none of this is what we want, none of this is good. Whether we leave or stay our corporations and money men will still control our politicians. There will be no change other than we will believe that we have chosen to do what we are doing.But ask yourselves these questions. Why do we have less and less faith in politicians, why is there so much voter apathy in something as supposedly cherished as democracy. The answer is that democracy is broken and we should stand up with our European cousins and say no to all of this bullshit we want change and we want real change.

    • avatar

      WE don’t want change.

      YOU need to change your non democratic domestic politics and your hilarious out of date monarchy. Same goes for Holland.

  17. avatar
    Marijus Stasiulis

    Leaving EU will mean that Britain does not belong to EU economic zone. Is that good? If you don’t understand what is money and GDP, then you should vote based on your wisdom.
    BTW Pakistan and India are not in EU, so there still be immigrants.

    • avatar

      No, they only want immigrants that don’t look like them. So it is easier to be a drunk racist and see who doesn’t belong on an island being invaded by muslamic laws

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Andrej Němec
      LOL! George Soros!

  18. avatar
    Tim Congdon

    Heseltine’s answer is false and, I am afraid, yet another lie. Norway and Switzerland do pay money to the EU as part of their arrangements with it. But the USA and China, and Australia and Canada, pay nothing at all to the EU, and there is no reason that the UK should do so. It has to be part of the UK’s negotiating position that it will pay nothing for access to the Single Market, although I hope – as I think all Brexiteers hope – that the UK can maintain free and open trading relations with the EU when it is no longer a member.

    • avatar

      Tu ne peux pas avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre mon ami..

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Especially when the French are eating more than their slice of cake and cooking the EU books too.

    • avatar
      Michael Heseltine

      The only reason that we will have to pay is that we won’t get access duty free to the market unless we do. Professor Congdon may hope that we won’t have to pay, but that won’t persuade the Europeans. Why should it? We are the ones who would have walked away.

      Just as they made us accept the common agricultural and fisheries policy when we belatedly joined their club, so they will insist on the rules if we want access to their market – as we certainly will because 47 per cent of our trade goes there. Norway has to pay and accept the rules but has no say in the design of those rules. It would be unforgivable for our government to put this country’s businesses in so humiliating a position.

    • avatar
      Paul X

      “Just as they made us accept the common agricultural and fisheries policy when we belatedly joined their club” Yes and a blinkered, headlong drive to ” be there at all costs” has gotten this country into the current situation where the only reasons that can be given to remain in the club is threats of what will happen if we leave

      Most people join clubs and pay membership fees for the benefits of the club, not because they are frightened of what the other members will do if they are not in

    • avatar
      Tim Congdon

      Lord Heseltine makes a strong and clear claim. This is that the only way that the UK, once outside the EU, could obtain duty-free access to the EU market would be by making a payment like that of Norway or Switzerland.

      Really? To its credit one of the EU’s commitments in its mission statements is to promote free trade not just within Europe, but globally. With that end in view it has reached free-trade agreements with Mexico and Israel, has negotiated one with Canada and is considering others around the world. These agreements do give Mexico and Israel duty-free access to the EU market in a wide range of products, without these two nations making any special payment to the EU. I haven’t checked the fine print of the Canada deal, but I am pretty sure that Canada would not make a payment (“danegeld”, some might call it) to the EU of this sort.

      Yes, some nations including China do not pay anything to “the club” and also do not have a free-trade deal with the EU. But that does not mean they cannot sell products to the EU. In fact, Chinese companies pay tariffs – the tariffs specified in the “common external tariff” – on the products they sell in Europe. Nevertheless, China’s exports to the EU are larger than the UK’s.

      I would hope that, after leaving the EU, the UK can craft free-trade arrangements with the EU that maintain tariff-free cross-border trade in most areas, certainly in such areas as motor and aerospace components where supply chains in manufacturing are at present trans-European. Lord Heseltine should not, in my opinion, be conjuring up all sorts of threats about what the EU might do to us. If the EU can reach mutually beneficial deals with the Canadians, the Mexicans and the Israelis, it can reach mutually beneficial deals with the UK (the largest single market of the current members without us).

      The one seriously problematic part of our trade would be in food and food manufacturing, and that is so only because of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. But I notice that Norway exports salmon in large amounts to the EU, and that Switzerland sells its cheeses to its neighbours and buys French, Italian and other European cheese in return. These things can be worked out with goodwill between reasonable people. They can be organized between nations on a friendly basis without talking about exclusive clubs, national humiliations and the like.

      Let me emphasize that, as a fervent Brexiteer, I want Britain to remain a close friend and ally of its European neighbours. That is one thing. It is quite another to hand over the government of our country to a foreign bureaucracy and judiciary. To that I am totally opposed. The USA, Canada etc. surely want also to be close friends and allies of EU member states. But they do not want to hand over their countries to the control of a foreign bureaucracy and judiciary.

    • avatar

      The uk won’t need a bilateral free trade agreement. The UK based companies (BMW, HSBC, Toyota) will just move to Scotland and England will be justifiably screwed by its own ideological fantasy.

    • avatar

      @ Michael Heseltine,I truly despair at senior politicians who endlessly trot out the Norway model.
      We are not Norway,we will have a British deal and thank goodness you personally will not be involved,the negativity demonstrated is palpable.

    • avatar

      Heseltine comes over as very negative and why senior politicians keep quoting the Norway model baffles me,we will have a British model.We are not Norway .

  19. avatar
    Alan Cornefert

    If we left the EU, then the City of London would almost certainly lose the Euro exchange trade that it went to court to protect

    It’s estimated to bring £1 trillion into the UK , that’s 1,000,000,000,000 that could be lost if we exit the EU

    There would certainly have to be an emergency Budget if we lost that and we could see a return to the 30% Standard rate and 60% Higher rate of tax that we had before we entered the EU

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Alan Cornefert
      Brexit is not all about money, its also about democracy, accountability and reducing corruption.

    • avatar

      Tarquin, you are living in a fantasy world. The uk is horribly corrupt. Where do all your politicians go to school. Boris and Cameron were in the same class.

      I do hope you are well off. Not so that I see you loose your wealth. But because you have ruined your own future.

    • avatar

      @Hahahaha you just dont get it do you ?.Sovereignty,Control Immigration,and spend Our money as We want.
      Point 1 ,If our politicians displease us we can vote them out of office,not so in the EU.
      Point 2,Our politicians may or may not be corrupt but they are OUR corrupt politicians and……..refer to point 1
      Countries and companies are already,post Brexit ,declaring their positions on doing trade with the UK and its looking pretty good……;)

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Illogical and irrational bilge as per usual.

  20. avatar
    Maia Alexandrova

    Simply put, outside the European Union UK would save peanuts, but will lose much more than that… As soon as Brexit is announced, the value of the pound will go down. Such fluctuations have already happened as a result of opinion polls on the referendum. Cheap pound will be good for manufacturing and exports, but not for imports. As most products in UK are imported, their prices will go up and this would probably be the first change that people will notice – less money in their pockets. So, no saving here.

    The second important thing that will come with a Brexit is UNCERTAINTY. This is never good with investors and it means waiting to see what will happen, so the result is a hold in investments. At stock markets it means that few people will want to buy British stocks, so their value will go down, wiping off billions from the shares of British companies. The conclusion – less money and certainly no saving.

    Regarding the expected benefits from stopping the free movement of EU citizens – these are lies because EU migrants are more beneficial than any other ones – they pay more in taxes than they take in benefits. The drain on the economy and the main pressure on public services is caused by immigrants from outside EU (including the illegal ones). They are more in numbers and also tend to have more children due to cultural or religious reasons. If you get rid of those who are helping you and instead keep or increase those who are taking from you, then definitely there will not be any saving in the end, but only the opposite.

    • avatar

      Strong argument however I would like to make the point across. Yes, the pound may go down a bit but it would never end that dramatically. We are paying the EU huge amounts of money, yet getting so little back. For example In 2015 the UK government paid £13 billion to the EU budget, and EU spending on the UK was £4.5 billion. So the UK’s ‘net contribution’ was estimated at about £8.5 billion. The UK would save so much money if we only just left the EU. If the UK left, billions of pounds would become available for other priorities.
      The UK would also be able to decide how to spend the money that the EU transfers back to It for example the NHS which seems to be suffering at the moment.

    • avatar
      Maia Alexandrova

      Then why not just stop the 12 billion foreign aid? The 8.5 billion given to EU is also a form of foreign aid, only it is used to help disadvantaged regions in Europe. Besides, EU gives humanitarian aid to third countries, too. How was it decided that it is better to get out of the EU and damage your economy in order to save 8.5 billion, instead of simply stopping the 12 billion foreign aid and avoiding the negative consequences following an exit from the EU?

    • avatar

      Maia,sorry you are already being proven wrong,one week post Brexit and even without a new prime minister and the opposition in chaos we have a rise in the value of sterling and the ftse is almost back where it was before the referendum.
      Just imagine what we will achieve with a determined pro British goverment and a stack of new independant trade deals.Doesn’t bear thinking about ,does it ?

  21. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    One massive hangover from the party we will be having on Thursday night :)

    Vote Leave…

  22. avatar
    catherine benning

    This is a good way of realising how you are being mummified.

    The take over of your mind and thoughts are the easiest way to enslave. It removes your sense of social cohesion and culture. It is a way of faking reality. In other words, a rose by any other name, is still a rose.

    And this brainwashing is part, and a strong part, of the EU rehabilitation we have been suffering for decades. It is maddening our societies.

    • avatar

      Consider making a list what Johnson, Farage and the like is making politics for (I mean with respect to market radicalism or ‘globalism’ as you often write, e.g., compared to e.g. Juncker ( or the at least somewhat ‘socialist’ heads of national governments in Europe. Don’t you see that it is not the Europeans trying to fool you about ‘souvereignty’ from multinationals, but rather Tory politicians from both wings or the investment banker Farage?

  23. avatar
    Gerry Joseph

    I am new to this debate so if this all old news forgive me.
    Why does everybody that I know, quote someone else? Look at youtube look at this newspaper that newspaper.
    Has anyone actually looked at the UK “EU budget 2015” has anyone looked at the EU website.
    I have heard different reasons for staying in the EU ranging from “there was no one famous on the Brexit camp, People like Dr Steven Hawking Bob Geldof and the likes are on the Remain camp they are cleverer than me”
    I have also heard that we should remain from Two old gentlemen “we should remain because our old enemies of old Germany and France can unite and start a war with us”
    And then from someone who I thought should be smarter, he is an IFA state ” We shouldn’t leave as that old smiling Cheshire Cat, Putin wants to put it to us just look at Ukraine”
    My argument for voting to leave is simple.

    In the actual government website you can find most things if not all about the common UK citizen is paying into the EU. We pay €18.8 billion (£14.6 billion), there are 5 heading of interest.Some parts are cumulative and have built up over time.
    Copied from the budget report.
    2.8 Details of the levels of payments in the adopted 2015 EU Budget are as follows1
     Heading 1: Smart and Inclusive Growth. Expenditure in this area includes research
    and development, education and training, employment and social policy. Payments
    for Heading 1 overall were set at €66.9 billion (£52.1 billion) for 2015, an increase
    of 2.4 per cent compared with Budget 2014.
    Payments towards research, learning, and innovation (Heading 1a) were set at €15.7
    billion (£12.3 billion), a 32.6 per cent increase compared to 2014. Payments toward
    fostering regional growth and employment (Heading 1b) were set at €51.1 billion
    (£39.8 billion). This was a 4.3 per cent reduction compared to 2014.
     Heading 2: Sustainable Growth: Natural Resources. Expenditure in this area includes
    spending on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), fisheries, rural development,
    and measures aiming to contribute to food quality and a cleaner environment.
    Payments in this area were set at €56.0 billion (£43.6 billion) in the 2015 Budget, a
    0.8 per cent reduction compared to 2014.
     Heading 3: Security and Citizenship. Expenditure in this area includes immigration,
    migration, security, and fundamental rights and justice.
    Payments for Heading 3 overall in 2014, excluding those associated with the
    European Union Solidarity Fund, were set at €1.9 billion (£1.5 billion), a 15.8 per
    cent increase compared to 2014.
     Heading 4: Global Europe. Expenditure in this area includes EU foreign policy and
    international development expenditure.
    Payments in 2015 for Heading 4 were set at €7.4 billion (£5.8 billion). This is an
    increase of 8.5 per cent compared to 2014.
     Heading 5: Administration. Expenditure for Heading 5 is on the functioning of the EU
    institutions and includes remuneration and allowances for staff and members, pension
    costs, and rent and other building costs.
    Payments for 2015 under Heading 5 have been set at €8.7 billion (£6.7 billion), a 3.0
    per cent increase compared to 2014.
    So as you can see the UK itself pays for scientific research, supposed EU sponsored programmes. That include the whole of the UK so any Scots,Irish debaters that includes you. The UK pays and it is to be re labelled as EU sponsorship funding.
    I personally am amazed that the administration fee alone is £6.7 Billion pound and is never mentioned and appears as insignificant.
    And if there is any more doubt that we would save money and can show the EU is only giving back a small amount look at the EU website.
    Below is some links which can show how it will save even more money.
    There is another thing Brexit may have stopped. A war. As it has been broadcast Junckers want a EU army. German public have been informed that it was to be French led, and costing a Trillion Euros. This is to help places like Ukraiine from the Russians. Strange thing is Ukraine swings regularly between the EU who offer financial help ( just look at the membership payments and pay outs) and the EEU (Ever heard of it?) This one stands for Eurasian Economic Union. Former Soviet bloc countries formed this trade group.
    Below are links to EU sites one of which is the European External Action Service .If you don’t believe he wants it to be more than trade look them up.

    So please don’t accuse me of Racism, Being Insular, or the like, I am part Irish, Scot and Jewish but proud to be English. Oh and this year UK government stopped its £31million direct Aid to South Africa. And before someone says typical not wanting to help the South Africans. President Jacob Zuma wants to spend 4 Billion Rand on three new Presidential Jets that’s around £1billion

  24. avatar

    pound value has also declined to 1.3000 against usd a huge loss to uk.its further to decline to 1.15 a huge loss.calculate .35 multiply by 10million x uk almost lossing 7 billion a month……. u got contry now stay in country n watch how inflation rises commodity peice rise if u go out of uk u r lossing 7 billion a month

    • avatar
      Gerry Joseph

      I appreciate the math, I don’t know what you are referring to though so so sorry about that. Every one is panicking how the Pound sterling is doing all because of Brexit, Yes it should be expected to react in the world markets, the uncertainty etc.
      By your spelling and grammar I would say you are mid 20’s. You may have not been around in 1987. The time I am referring to is called Black Monday, stock markets around the world crashed, that wasn’t caused by UK leaving EU and yet here we are. There have been many financial upheavals, many things cause the fluctuations but as a saying goes Nature abhors a vacuum.
      Give things chance to settle, Yes its rough now, and talking from 45 years of dealing with public, panic causes panic. Once people like yourself start working as usual, it will stabilise.
      Look at it this way when the war ended, Germany was broken it is now a power house of Europe, it changed its concepts and changed its fortune. Things recover. We will.

    • avatar
      Semni Istiqlal

      @Gerry Joseph: The question is will leaving save money. Not wether or not the British economy will recover.

      Even if the pound were to bounce back right now and we were to stop paying our EU dues we would already be about 3.8bilion in the hole. Assuming that the figure of dues – rebate – EU investment in the UK was the 160m figure it would take us almost six months to recover the money we have lost.

      Of course, these figures are not realistic, it’s going to take us far longer to recover and separate from the EU.

  25. avatar
    T Watts

    Michael Hestletine, put some figures to your assertion because I simply don’t believe those figures would get anywhere near the £12bn saving. How much do Norway and Switzerland pay for “access to those markets”?
    Itemise how you get to 12bn? Otherwise, you are talking crock.

  26. avatar

    We will save £350million a week that can fund our NHS

    • avatar
      Semni Istiqlal

      The very article you are commenting on refutes that assertion.

  27. avatar
    Gerry Joseph

    The problem, yes we will lose money at first, everything will be unstable. It is a ground breaking situation of that we are well aware.
    But, we can be free from shackles of a faceless un voted system, one that cost just on administration fee £6.7 Billion (On 11% pensions, buildings and staff of 333,000, compared to 2074aprox in UK Parliament) I personally see it as being a member of a gym, where we are the 3rd highest payee, there is money returned as a rebate and as local policies (Scots please note), but then we are told by the management that 25 other members will be paying less, getting up to 16 times money returned than they put in. But the real pearl is we are then told who we can work out with and what we can do, as not to upset others that don’t exercise as much.
    As I state all the evidence for coming out is out there. Please, people don’t rely on who tells what, investigate! Please every “remainer”, investigate, deduce, fairly and impartially, you can’t fudge black and white, read UK budget and EU policies. Some of the EU funding it would appear, goes into Military operations far from the EU, I ask why? What has places like Somalia got to do with the EU unless it has ideas of “Trade” with them, and we pay for it, and now apparently they want an EU army, why at a cost of a Trillion Euros does a trade organisation need a separate army. UK would have needed a referendum on that too as its in our constitution.
    Look how we have had recessions not related to Brexit, we have bounced back, except in the future we will have the ability to deal with the rest of the world, and be free to talk with whom we like.

    • avatar

      Rubbish the people who make the decisions in the EU are elected officials of the countries in the EU and then they have to approved by the EU parliament The Civil Service in Brussels carry out those decisions and have no influence in making them.

  28. avatar
    robert dunford


  29. avatar
    Henry Limburg

    What a load of poppycock. They don’t know because it has never been tried. They can’t run the country in. What makes them think out would be worse

  30. avatar
    Rodney McKeown

    Of course we will save 19 billion because we won’t be paying anything in, so will save the gross amount. 19 billion divided by 52 = 365,384,615.385. So there wasn’t any false representation by the brexiters, but by the remoaners who can’t add up and always quoted getting 50% back

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