Referendum facts, figures and fiction

Dr Dr R. Cooper

Dr Dr R. Cooper

Bruce Adams would like a repeat referendum on whether we should leave the EU, because he believes we were misinformed before the last one and that was why his side lost the vote.

(“Much to be concerned about over leaving EU”, Advertiser, April 12).

And he chooses as his specific example of “fake news” the claim that “we send

the EU £350m a week” which was

displayed on the side of the Leave campaign bus.

I feel sure we have been over all this before, but in any case I will refer Mr Adams to the official document Cm 9167 issued by the Treasury in December 2015 under the title:

“European Union Finances 2015: statement on the 2015 EU Budget and measures to counter fraud and financial mismanagement” which can easily be found on the internet.

In particular, to this table on page 14:

“Table 3.A shows the UK’s gross payments, rebate, public sector receipts, and net contributions to the EU Budget for calendar years 2009 to 2015. The figures for 2015 are estimates; those for earlier years are outturn.”

And at that time, in the lead up to the referendum campaign, the latest available finalised figure in the “gross payments” row was £18.777 billion for 2014, which was £361m a week.

Personally I would not have chosen to quote the gross contribution, and preferred to use the net contribution which was given in that table as a shade under £10 billion for 2014.

However if the gross payment used by the Leave campaign was to be criticised then on the basis of the official Treasury figures the criticism should be that a round £350m a week was too low.


Belmont Park Avenue


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