Brexit: Jeremy Vine says EU is looking to 'waterboard' UK
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EU data showed vast sums of taxpayers’ cash will still be sent to the bloc as part of the Brexit divorce bill agreed in 2019. The sum is considerably less than the amounts forked out during our EU membership, but is still equivalent to about £233 for every UK household. In our final year of EU membership, British taxpayers handed over £14.4 billion to the bloc.
Treasury data showed the annual gross contributions to the EU’s coffers was one of the highest in our 47 years as a member.
It would have been £4.5 billion higher without the rebate won by then prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1984.
Figures showed around £5 billion was returned to the UK under spending schemes in 2019, giving a net contribution of £9.4 billion.
And according to the EU’s latest budget report, Britons will contribute just £3.6 billion less to the bloc’s budget despite having left its clutches at the beginning of the year.
Brussels said Britain’s £5.8 billion bill will be paid between June 30, 2021 and December 31, 2021.
It is part of the Brexit divorce settlement agreed as part of the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement.
The funds will be used to pay for “projects, programmes, agreements or contracts which have already been committed to, before December 31 2020, but which are not yet fully implemented, with payments still to follow”, according to the EU report.
The UK will continue to pay into the EU’s coffers for years to come as a result of the Brexit deal.
The Office for Budget Responsibility reckons the settlement may cost us around £33 billion once the final payment is made, possibly in the 2060s.
But the EU report makes clear that it expects as much as £35 to be handed over the coming decades.
Much of this is comprised of pension liabilities from UK MEPs and staff hired while we were still members.
The EU estimates this bill to be worth some £12.3 billion at the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
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Under our Brexit divorce deal, we are also set to receive some £1.5 billion back from the EU.
This is cash being held by the European Commission after slapping massive fines on firms, such as Google for corporate wrongdoing.
The EU paper states: “In the annual accounts, the amounts owed to the UK as a result of fines are deducted from the overall amount due by the UK.
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“As of December 31, 2020, the estimated UK share of outstanding fines is €1.8 billion.
“This amount will be returned to the UK over a long period of time.
“The figure is based on the outstanding cases at December 31, 2020 and it may change, to reflect the actual amounts entered into the budget after the fines have become definitive.”
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