“Britain’s £40bn Brexit divorce bill will be dwarfed by the cost of staying in the EU for just four more years, figures reveal”
Can anyone explain where from that is coming from? Tabloids (== UK press) are not very particular on the sources.
After that – https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/07/12/eu-budget-position/# – there were no other EU budget changes.
The short answer: It’s a lie.
Arguing for this claim fits the definition of Truthiness very well.
The first misconception is that it is not a divorce bill. The UK has run up a tab of around €100bn in unpaid bills. €40bn of that sum would have went straight back to the UK, mainly in the form of subsidies. EU simply said the UK don’t have to pay that part. The UK also owns a share of the common assets, such as real estate. This is the divorce settlement the EU has to give the UK to pay them out, and hard to figure out correctly. So €60bn – settlement was agreed to be around €55bn (which in my book is more than £40bn, but what do I know?)
The calculation of tabloids and Brexiteers are still primarily based on a number that was written on the side of a bus:
While this figure has been debunked instantly (FullFact: “
£350 million EU claim “a clear misuse of official statistics”
”) it is still in the sphere of public awareness.
They completely ignore that they get something back for that money. As well es membership benefits that translates into real economic gain. And also ignore that there will be a price to pay for leaving the Single Market (according the the UK gov’s own analysis, at least £80bn)
And finally, they have a deep misunderstanding how the EU budget works. Less than 1% of that goes into administration. I.e. the people in Brussels and the EU itself.