Scotland politics

Scottish independence: Gordon Brown concern over Scots EU rebate

Gordon Brown Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Gordon Brown delivered a speech at the European Parliament

An independent Scotland faces an extra £500m annual bill to stay in the European Union, former prime minister Gordon Brown has said.

In a speech at the European Parliament, the Labour MP argued that Scotland would lose its share of the UK rebate, worth £2bn over seven years.

The intervention came ahead of the 18 September independence referendum.

The Scottish government said Scotland would have its own, strong voice in Europe with a "Yes" vote.

Mr Brown also said that as well as losing its share of the UK rebate, an independent Scotland would have to pay into the UK rebate at a cost of £540m, also over seven years.

He told the gathering: "As part of the UK, the contribution made by Scottish taxpayers to the EU budget over 2014-20 would be around £8.5bn.

"But it is estimated that an independent Scottish state would contribute a total of around £11bn to the EU budget over the same seven-year period.

"The difference is that Scotland would lose the benefit from the UK rebate - £2bn over seven years.

Mr Brown added: "Ironically, they would also have to contribute to the UK rebate - about £540m over seven years.

"This gives a total additional direct cost to Scottish taxpayers of around £2.5bn or £935 per household over 2014-20.

"This means that while Scotland's membership of the EU through being a member of the UK is worth £350m a year extra to Scottish taxpayers, this would be lost. "

A spokesman for Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Our farmers have lost out on one billion euros as a result of Westminster's decisions on CAP funding, and the UK government notoriously described Scotland's fishing industry as 'expendable'.

"An independent Scotland will have its own seat and voice at the top table in Europe for the first time, making sure we get a far better deal - a better deal which Gordon Brown comprehensively failed to achieve for Scotland when he had the power to do so."