Looking for Budget Cuts? How about the £10.3 Billion a Year EU Membership?
The cost of Britain’s membership of the European Union is set to reach £10 billion per year within three years, new research by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revealed.
The dramatic spike in EU membership costs is the result of a “natural” increase in fees and the surrender of Britain’s rebate made by Tony Blair in 2005.
According to the OBR, British taxpayers will be paying half a billion more pounds this year to the EU, which will bring total membership fees for 2010 to just over £8.3 billion.
This figure is set to rise to £10.3 billion by 2014, the OBR said.
The scale of the increase is apparent when it is considered that in 2008, Britain’s direct membership fees were “only” £3.1 billion.
This figure does not, of course, include the indirect costs, which considerably increase the cost of the EU to British taxpayers.
Mr Blair unilaterally cut Britain's £3 billion-a-year budget rebate to reach a compromise deal with his EU partners at a summit in Brussels five years ago.
According to think tank Open Europe, EU regulation (which is separate from EU membership fees) has cost the UK £124 billion since 1998.
Based on over 2,300 of the Government's own impact assessments, Open Europe found that regulation has cost the UK economy £176 billion since 1998, “roughly equivalent to the country's entire budget deficit.
“Of this amount, £124 billion, or 71 percent, had its origin in EU legislation,” the think tank said.
“We estimate the benefit/cost ratio of EU regulations at 1.02, while the ratio of UK regulations is 2.35.
“In other words, for every £1 of cost, EU regulations introduced since 1998 have only delivered £1.02 of benefits, meaning that it is 2.5 times more cost effective to regulate nationally than it is to regulate via the EU,” an Open Europe statement said.
* Britain’s deficit costs the taxpayers £1 billion a week in interest, it was announced last week.
When combined with the crippling cost of immigration (£13 billion per year), the war in Afghanistan (£5 billion per year), foreign aid (£9.1 billion per year), and the asylum swindle (£4 billion per year), it becomes clear that EU membership is the very last thing for which British taxpayers should be forced to pay.