It is well known that Britain pays a net contribution to the EU budget. In other words, we pay more into the EU than the EU gives us back in money it spends in Britain. In 2010, that figure was £6.9 billion, and it is steadily rising.
Clearly there are lots of other costs attached to EU membership – the regulatory costs imposed on business, for example, or the economic loss caused by EU restrictions on our trade with the rest of the world. Gerard Batten MEP and economist Tim Congdon have done some sums and put the total cost at £77 billion for the year 2010 alone. This figure is steadily rising too.
Those figures are so big, let’s try and put them into perspective.
Imagine we magically were not in the EU any more. Those costs of EU membership would be gone.
That net contribution to the EU budget, £6.9 billion, is enough to build 138,000 homes at £50,000 each. According to Shelter, that would be enough to house all the homeless people in the country – in just the first year. Now that’s sorted, what shall we do with our saving in year 2?
The figure for the total cost to the British economy of our membership, at £77 billion, is roughly what it would cost to mount a manned mission to Mars. In just the first year. Which planet shall we go to in year 2?
So how about we leave the EU, solve our housing crisis and pay for a British manned mission to Mars … and then discuss how to spend our saving in years 2, 3, 4 and 5?
Kind of makes you think, doesn’t it?