Still coughing up! UK was EU’s second-biggest contributor last year despite Brexit


    Thinktank Facts4EU.Org revealed that despite ostensibly leaving the bloc in January, UK taxpayers still gave Brussels billions of pounds in 2020. Contributions to the EU, including customs tariffs, are listed at £17billion, it said.

    The net figure, after deducting money that came back, was £11.1bn.

    Only Germany paid more than the UK, after the same statistics showed that in total it handed over £16.6bn to Brussels.

    Overall the UK paid in significantly more than France – whose President Emmanuel Macron constantly harps on about the benefits of continued European integration.

    Despite the europhile’s public stance, French taxpayers contributed just over £8bn overall to the EU.

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    “The EU Commission has recently increased its bill by a casual £3bn and although the Government has said that it ‘doesn’t recognise the figures’ it seems inevitable that the UK will end up paying, as the deal is adjudicated by the EU’s own judges sitting in the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) in Luxembourg.”

    The news emerged as the ongoing spat between the UK and EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol continues unabated.

    On Friday Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen failed to reach an agreement to reshape the Protocol.

    Mr Johnson and the EU Commission President discussed the UK’s suggested changes to the current agreement.

    Beforehand Brexit Minister Lord Frost had called for an end to nearly all of the customs checks between the province and the rest of the UK.

    The Protocol has stoked long-standing sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland and led to rioting in the Unionist community.

    They claim that the agreement – which has effectively created a border in the Irish Sea – threatens their British identity.

    Despite the pleas, Ms von der Leyen said that the EU will “not renegotiate” the original deal.

    Writing on Twitter, she said: “The EU will continue to be creative and flexible within the Protocol framework. But we will not renegotiate.

    “We must jointly ensure stability and predictability in Northern Ireland.”

    A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Johnson reiterated the Protocol is “unsustainable” and must be changed.

    The spokesman added: “Solutions could not be found through the existing mechanisms of the Protocol. That was why we had set out proposals for significant changes to it.

    “There is a huge opportunity to find reasonable, practical solutions to the difficulties facing people and businesses in Northern Ireland, and thereby to put the relationship between the UK and the EU on a better footing.

    “We didn’t expect the EU to take such a purist or maximalist approach… we’ve not called for the scrapping of the Protocol at this time.”


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