Cost of the EU - let's spend our money on our priorities


Since 1973, the Government has sent over £500 billion to the EU, three times the annual NHS budget


The EU now costs the UK over £350 million each week - nearly £20 billion a year


Our EU contributions are enough to build a new, fully-staffed NHS hospital every week


EU regulation costs small businesses millions every week, energy rules cost consumers and businesses millions more

Vote Leave to reduce VAT on fuel bills


Since Britain joined the EU in 1973, we have paid over £500,000,000,000 into the EU – that’s half a trillion pounds, or one third of our national debt. Over the past decade alone, Britain paid over £150 billion to the EU budget. We send about £350 million to Brussels every week. This is about half the English schools budget, four times the Scottish schools budget, four times the science budget, and about 60 times what we spend on the NHS Cancer Drugs fund.

This money is not well spent. Billions are lost to fraud and waste – in 2014 the EU failed to spend €6.3 billion in accordance with its own rules, and was slammed by its own auditors.

The UK has been one of the largest contributors to the EU budget, often contributing much more than other large European countries like France and Italy. Since 1975, we have always paid in far more than what we have taken out.


  • EU rules delay our building of schools and hospitals and add millions to the cost.
  • EU laws have increased the cost of energy for families, businesses and public services, and the EU forces us to increase taxes on energy which particularly hits poorer families.
  • EU rules force us to impose VAT on things against our interests and against the promises of parties during elections.
  • EU rules stop us building the homes we need, with rules like the Habitats Directive causing problems.
  • We waste money in Brussels that could be spent on things like flood defences here, hitting communities.
  • EU laws force the closing of power plants in the UK, reducing capacity, increasing the risk of power cuts, and increasing costs.
  • EU regulation costs UK small businesses over £600 million every week.
  • EU rules cost farmers and fishermen millions, destroy businesses, and harm the environment
  • EU rules damage the development of new technologies. This costs all of us in the long-term
  • Stupid EU rules cost us, such as the Clinical Trials Directive that badly delayed the testing of cancer drugs.

Damaging rules often come from lobbying by big multinational corporations trying to eliminate competition from entrepreneurs and small businesses. 'Single Market' rules include disastrous regulations such as the Clinical Trials Directive that badly delayed the testing of cancer drugs. The costs of the 'Single Market' outweigh the benefits. This EU system is very slow and hard to fix when it goes wrong and we have only 8.5% of the votes in the crucial EU Council that makes the rules.

EU law forbids our elected Government from scrapping VAT on key items, from sanitary products to energy bills, pushing up costs for everybody. 'Single Market' rules control how we build schools and hospitals adding billions to costs and favouring huge multinationals over small and medium sized businesses. This EU system is very slow and hard to fix when it goes wrong.


If we vote to remain in the EU, we are voting to make this damaging situation permanent. UK taxpayers will keep paying for the huge bills caused by the euro crisis. These bills will only increase. All this money could be better spent on the UK’s priorities, like the NHS, schools, and fundamental science research. Even worse, the EU is planning another new Treaty that will give even more powers to the EU including over your taxes.

Let's spend our money on our priorities like the NHS.

That’s why the safer option is to Vote Leave, stop sending £350 million a week to Brussels, and spend that money on our priorities instead.

Key Facts

Useful facts, videos and graphics to share with your friends and family

VIDEO: If we vote Leave, we can take back control from Brussels

We send 60 times more money to Brussels than we spend on the NHS Cancer Drugs Fund

Don’t believe BSE’s scaremongering

The EU-funded BSE campaign’s claim that households are financially better off inside in the EU has been completely refuted by independent experts. Channel 4’s independent Factcheck said the figures were ‘fiction’.

Further Reading


    Britain has now paid more than half a trillion pounds into the EU budget - LINK (pdf)

    The Single Market is failing British businesses - LINK (pdf)

    UK lack of influence in the EU costs taxpayer billions - LINK

    David Cameron admits that we will be fine if we Vote Leave - LINK

Download our app

Vote Leave App