One of the main reasons for being in the EU is quoted as being “for trade”. David Cameron keeps linking being in the EU with giving us “access to the EU’s single market”. This is distorting the facts and deception on his part as:-

We do NOT have to be in the EU to trade with the EU1

We do NOT have to have a trade agreement with the EU to trade with the EU1


There is NO benefit to UK trade with the EU through being in the EU2 

Why is David Cameron prepared to keep deceiving us to stay in the EU and waste £billions in the process. What are the true facts about our trade with the EU and how much does it really cost us? For example, in 2014:-

The netbudget contribution we paid the EU in 2014 was:-
£10 billion

In 2014 the UK exported £228 billion worth of goods and services to the EU. The UK imported £289 billion worth of goods from the EU making the UK the EU’s best single customer. In 2014 trade with the EU cost:-
£61 billion

By avoiding EU import duties UK exporters saved about £2.28 billion at an average import duty of 1% which they pocketed. By avoiding import duties on EU imports the UK lost nearly
£3 billion

Due to being in the EU the average UK householder had to pay nearly £1,000 /annum extra out of their taxed income, which personally cost us
£25 billion

According to Prof. Congdon the cost to our economy in 2014 of being in the EU was

Hence, in 2014 the annual cost to our economy, the trade deficit and loss of import duties added up to
£254 billion

OR £26 billion MORE than our total exports to the EU!

But the UK has been in the EU for over 40 years. How much has the EU cost the UK since we joined the EEC in 1973 to date?

Since the UK joined the EEC in 1973 trading with the EEC/EU has currently cost us over

(NB However, up to 2012 we made a PROFIT of £245 billion trading with the rest of the world.)4


UK taxpayers have given our EU competitors net budgetary contributions currently costing over
£415 billion5

NOTE! £1,250billion+ £415 billion = UK’s NATIONAL DEBT!

Incredibly, the total current cost to our economy of EU membership has apparently never been declared, so the remain campaign is arguing to stay in without really knowing how much being in the EU has cost us.However, using Congdon’s cost figure of £185 billion for 2013 the total current cost to the UK economy can be shown to be in the order of
£8,500 billion6

Those are the costs of being in the EU which we have already paid. If the UK stays in the EU after the referendum the above costs will increase.It is obvious that once these vast costs of being in the EU are reduced or eliminated our trading prospects must improve substantially.  Furthermore, the UK is tied into a group of countries many of which have much worse government debt to GDP ratios than the UK’s as follows;

UK 90%, Ireland 91%, Eurozone 92%, France 96%, Spain 99%, Belgium 106%, Cyprus 107%, Portugal 128%, Italy 132% andGreece 180%.

Staying in the EU incurs further huge financial liabilities, impossible to quantify as again we have no control over EU decisions. These include:-

EU regulations and directives

EU fines

Health tourism

Benefit tourism

Bail outs for Greece and other bankrupt EU countries

Budget increases

VAT increases

EIB / ECB commitments

EU pensions which will cost over

30,000 billion euros7



1  See Table 1 of the report by Michael Burrage referred to in note 2 below.

2  See Civitas report, “Where’s the insider advantage?” by Michael Burrage which concludes that there is no insider advantage to trading with the EU through being in the EU.

3  Based on published UK/EU balance of trade figures from 1973, corrected to 2014 values using Ref 1 and totalled for the years 1973 to 2015.

4  Current accumulated value of our trade with the rest of the world from 1973 to 2012 corrected to 2012 values using Ref 1 was a SURPLUS of £245 billion.

5  Net contribution budgetary figures scaled off gross contributions and public sector receipts plotted on UK payments to EU budget, from eu-referendum-fact-checking-the-big-claims, corrected to 2014 values using Ref 1 and totalled for the years 1973 to 2014. This figure does not of course include the £billions paid by UK householders to fund the EU’s import duties, VAT and green levies.

6  Although a total cost of being in the EU since 1973 is not available one example may be estimated as follows. The total cost (direct and indirect) to the UK of being in the EU for the year 2013 was estimated by Professor Tim Congdon as being £185 billion (ref. “How much does the EU cost Britain?”).The increase in annual cost to the UK from 1972 (when the cost was nil) to 2014 using the 2013 figure of £185 billion divided by 42, i.e. an average annual increase of £4.4 billion per year.

Correcting, using ref. 1 values, each year’s estimated cost to 2014 and then totalling this adjusted cost over the whole period of the UK’s membership, we get a total of £8.5 trillion (£280,000/taxpayer). This is 5 times larger than the current national debt of the UK.

7   There is a massive “hole” looming in the pension funding for many EU countriesaccording to a study commissioned by the European Central Bank. The 18 EU countries in the report compiled by the Research Center for Generational Contracts at Freiburg University in 2009 showed that the largest pension liabilities in per cent of GDP can be found in France (362.2), Poland (361.1) and Austria (359.9), followed by Germany (329.6) and Italy (323.1). The lowest liabilities have been calculated for Lithuania (179.9) and Latvia (124.8) followed by the United Kingdom (91.2) authors Christoph Mueller, Bernd Raffelhueschen and Olaf Weddige said in the report.

Ref 1 University of Illinois website “measuring”