EU Referendum

Reality Check: Could Brexit lead to an end to austerity?

John Redwood saying: "We've got this £10,000m... which we could spend on our priorities.

John Redwood was on Today this morning talking about a report from Conservatives for Britain saying the country can end austerity if the UK leaves the EU.

The report says: "The UK currently hands over £19bn to the EU every year. We get £9bn back in services and the rebate which means when we vote Leave we will be able to guarantee all the funding to farmers, universities and regional grants that currently come from the EU and still have £10bn more to spend on our priorities like the NHS."

Let's have a look at those figures in turn.

The gross contribution in 2014 was indeed just under £19bn, although that wasn't the amount "handed over" to the EU, because the rebate is deducted before the contribution is paid.

The amount that we got back via the rebate was £4.4bn and then services to the public sector such as support for farmers and regional grants added up to another £4.6bn, making up the £9bn the report refers to.

But that money will not cover private sector grants such as those to universities, to which the report also refers, which adds another £1.4bn.

It means that the amount the government had left to spend would be £8.4bn and not £10bn.

And that assumes that the UK would not end up having to make any contributions to the EU Budget in order to get access to the single market, as countries such as Norway do, and there would be no other costs to the economy as a consequence of leaving the EU.

Reality Check Verdict: They've got their sums wrong - post-Brexit UK certainly wouldn't have £10bn extra to spend and it could be considerably less.


READ MORE: The facts behind claims in the EU debate


More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites