Brexit set to cost more than UK’s net contribution to EU over 47 years

PUBLISHED: 13:14 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:44 28 February 2020

Boris Johnson (left) outlines a vision for Brexit watched by former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA.

Boris Johnson (left) outlines a vision for Brexit watched by former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

The cost of Brexit has already been predicted to hit £200 billion this year - totalling more than the UK has paid into the EU over 47 years.

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Figures from a House of Commons library document puts the UK's net contribution to the European Union and European Commission budget between 1973 and 2018 at around £163 billion.

Adding in the estimated net contribution for 2019 this rises to £177 billion.

By contrast the expected hit from Brexit is estimated by Bloomberg to cost £200 billion by the end of the year - with a £130 billion hit having impacted the economy before Brexit has even happened.

The analysis by Dan Hanson, a UK economist for Bloomberg economics, expects Brexit uncertainty to continue to take a toll on companies and consumers by the end of 2020.

And while the expert predicts that tax cuts and increased borrowing in the forthcoming budget will give a "growth spurt", they predict it will be a "one off" which will be unable to make up for ground lost since the EU referendum.

"Looking beyond 2020, we forecast the growth spurt in this year will be a one off -- the economy will get a shot in the arm, but the cyclical lift that provides won't last," he said.

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"As the UK comes to terms with its new trading relationship with the EU and grapples with the productivity challenge that has hindered growth since the financial crisis, the annual cost of Brexit is likely to keep increasing."

Twitter users noted that the figure Hanson quotes is now more than the sum total of the UK's net contributions to the EU over 47 years.

Net contributions take into account - but is not limited to - payments that the UK gets back including payments for farmers, poorer areas, and payments to the private sector for things like research grants.

Anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain tweeted: "Brexit clearly costs more than staying in the EU. If you're a Brexiter, the economic argument to Leave simply does not exist: not in the short-term, and not in the long-term."

"That is an insane fact," said Caitlin Moran.

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Derek James responded: "When 'Project Fear' becomes 'Project Fact'. And we haven't even left the EU yet!"

"These are turning out to be extremely expensive blue passports!" wrote another.

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