Home Brexit UK will spend more than £200 BILLION on membership, says MP

UK will spend more than £200 BILLION on membership, says MP

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BRITAIN will have spent a shocking £200billion on European Union membership by the time Brexit occurs, MPs have heard.

Conservative Philip Hollobone made the estimate after noting House of Commons Library research states the country has contributed a net total of almost £185billion in real terms up to 2016 after joining the common market in January 1973. Join today

And the Kettering MP said he expects the final bill to have reached a whopping £209billion by early 2019.

But he warned it would be “simply outrageous” if the EU asked the UK to pay any exit charges – and demanded Britain plays Brussels negotiators at their own game.

He said: “It is a huge figure, which British taxpayers have had to spend over the past 44 years.

“We joined what was then called the common market with effect from January 1 1973. Its official title was the European Economic Community.

“Since that date, it has changed – sometimes with and sometimes without consent by the British people – into the European Community, or the EC, and now the European Union.

Westminster Hall debate

“Over the last 44 years, this country – according to detailed, authoritative research published by the House of Commons Library – has contributed a net total, in real terms, in today’s money, of £187billion transferred from British taxpayers to European Union taxpayers.

“That is up to 2016, so it doesn’t include this year, next year or the bit of 2019 before we leave this dreadful organisation.

“If the real-terms total is, as of today, something like £187billion, it will be well over £200billion in real terms by the time we leave.”

Mr Hollobone added: “I estimate that we will have spent £209 billion – that’s our membership fee – for being a member of this organisation.

“I think it is simply outrageous for any EU negotiator to demand that this country continues to pay for us to leave when we have contributed all this money, net, since we joined on January 1 1973.”

He also asked Brexit Minister Robin Walker to be “extremely robust” when negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Mr Hollobone later corrected the £187billion figure, stating the actual cash figure was £137.4billion – or £184.571billion in real terms.

He joked: “I have added on £2billion just for fun. But that is the sort of tactic the EU negotiators will adopt, so we should start playing them at their own game.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond told MPs earlier this week that suggestions from Brussels, widely estimated at amounting to a £50billion “divorce bill”, should be treated as “nothing more, nothing less” than the “opening gambit” of Brexit talks.

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