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Treasury data published by the House of Commons Library showed the annual gross contribution to Brussels coffers was one of the highest in the UK’s 47 years as a member of the European bloc. The huge sum from taxpayers – nearly a billion pounds more than the previous year – was equivalent to more than £500 for every household in the UK.
It would have been around £4.5billion higher without the rebate won by the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher during budget negotiations in the 1980s.
Figures showed around £5billion was returned to the UK under EU spending schemes last year, giving a total net contribution for 2019 of £9.4billion.
Tory MP Peter Bone, a leading figure in the Brexit campaign, said: “This is a huge sum of money. It shows why this country was right to leave the EU.
“Our contribution was set to rise even higher if we stayed in the EU. We have basically been subsidising other European countries.
“My constituents did not consider that a fair and reasonable deal.”
Britain, which formally quit the EU at the end of this year, is expected to pay a similar amount to Brussels this year for continuing EU single market and customs union membership during the transition out of the bloc’s rules.
Britain’s obligation to contribute to the EU budget is set to end once the transition expires at the end of this year.
But under the departure deals, the UK could still have to pay money to Brussels for many years.
The House of Commons Library research paper said: “The UK and EU have some outstanding financial obligations to each other that they are settling through a financial settlement.
“The obligations arise out of the UK’s participation in the EU budget and broader aspects of its EU membership.”
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The Office for Budget Responsibility, Whitehall’s financial watchdog, has estimated that the settlement may cost the UK around £33 billion once the final payment is made, possibly in the 2060s.
Britain’s contribution has varied year to year based on economic performance and other Brussels criteria.
The biggest annual sum, a gross contribution of £16billion and net of £11.5billion, was paid in 2013.
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