Things are heating up in Britain, where voters will decide upon their country’s future: will it be inside or outside the European Union?
One of the most prominent British EU-critics is Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and reluctant member of the European Parliament. Farage has waged a war of words on the EU for years, so 2016 will be the year in which his life’s work will either be rewarded or be undone. It’s up to British voters to decide upon the matter.
That’s why Farage is undoubtedly pleased by this article in the Express claiming that continued EU-membership will cost British taxpayers $140 billion — or UK £96 billion:
BRITISH taxpayers have ploughed more than half a trillion pounds – an eye-watering £1 billion a month on average – into the European Union budget since we joined, figures showed yesterday – intensifying calls to get out of the bloc.
That’s a staggering amount, of course, which makes it more than logical that Farage is touting the number on his Twitter page:
EU membership forecast to cost UK £96 billion between 2016 – 2020. Remaining in the EU would cost us big time. https://t.co/tw4X9riT55
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) December 31, 2015
Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to renegotiate Britain’s deal with the EU — which would supposedly make it less costly for Britain to stay in the union and enable the British parliament to take back some of its powers swallowed up by Brussels — but most British eurosceptics have had enough of the EU altogether. They want out. These shocking costs of continued membership will boost their case to the British public.
Since joining the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, which later gave birth to the European Union (EU), Britain has spent a whopping £503 billion (or $745 billion) on the European project. That’s money that might have been better spent on domestic issues.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the “Vote Leave” campaign — who published the stats — explains:
David Cameron promised to cut the EU budget yet we are handing more to Brussels every year. If we vote to leave we can spend this money on our priorities like the NHS, not EU bureaucrats.
The NHS is the country’s expensive health care system, which is in dire need of more funds; funds that simply aren’t available as long as Britain stays in the EU.
Cameron and others will undoubtedly try to discredit the numbers put out by the Vote Leave campaign by pointing out that Britain receives a rebate every year, but that’s a weak case. The Brits have no power over how EU money is being spent; Britain’s national concerns and priorities are not taken into consideration. If the British want to decide how their own money is being spent, they have just one recourse: get out of the European Union altogether.