An analysis of official HM Treasury figures for the year ended 05 Apr 2019

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readJul 31, 2019


As the Conservative leadership contest was still heading for its climax, HM Treasury released its latest figures for public expenditure in the tax year ending 05 Apr 2019. The data shows that the UK paid the EU more than £11.2 billion for the previous 12 months.

That’s £11.2 billion and it doesn’t even include payments to the EU for their “off-budget” funds.

These are the pro-Remain Treasury’s own figures

Buried deep within hundreds of pages of information released by HM Treasury in July are the official figures for how much the UK has paid the EU in the previous year.

Net payments to the EU for the tax year ended Apr 2019

Total gross amount £21.0 billion

Less rebate and public sector receipts of £9.8 billion

Total net contribution to the EU = £11.2 billion

And this isn’t even all of it — see below

The Treasury clearly says that “the UK’s contribution to the cost of EU aid to states outside the EU is attributed to departmental budgets.”

In simple terms, substantial extra contributions to the EU by the UK are NOT included in the figures above.

Published details of the “off-budget” EU funds of a substantial nature to which the UK has made large contributions, such as the Cohesion Fund’ and which have never been included in the Treasury’s official “EU net contributions” figures.

It is disappointing, to say the least, that the BBC has not seen fit to investigate and report on these additional payments to the EU.

So the latest total admitted by HM Treasury for the UK’s net contributions to the EU for the tax year ended Apr 2019 is £11. 2 billion.

By its own admission, the pro-Remain Treasury does not include amounts paid to the EU by other government departments. I find this incredulous.

Given that Brexit has been the overriding topic in the country for over three years, readers might have hoped that the Treasury would actually present the full picture so that the public was properly informed from an official source.

As it is, I have simply presented the Treasury’s official figures above. The true figure is significantly higher as I have previously demonstrated, but readers can quote the figure of £11.2 billion with complete confidence. The true figure is higher, but Remainers can hardly argue with the pro-Remain Treasury’s own official data.

Just think what we British could do with that 21 billion.

New hospitals with doctors/nurses or new surgeries in our towns and cities


Beefing up our Royal Navy 21 Billion could mean 21 new top-of-the-range frigates to protect our nation.

How about new schools training far for teachers.

Or how about our road infrastructure? or railways?

Over the last two days, I have shown how 15 EU countries benefit enormously from the EU's Cohesion Fund’ Their roads and railways are far better than ours. People have commented on how great those roads are when visiting some of those countries. All of us at some point in our lives use both the roads and our railway and almost all of us when using both see how bad ours are. How great it would be to drive on roads that are smooth silent, ride on trains that are new, stations that are a joy to be in. We could if we choose to use that 21 billion a year on our travel infrastructure.

Since writing this article in 2019 I have since found out more about how much we pay the EU

Each year that we were in the EU we had to pay the EU a proportion of VAT and also & duties on goods entering the UK

VAT and duties on what we all bought, sent to the EU in the tax year ended Apr 2019

  1. VAT payments to the EU — £3.14bn

2. Customs payments to the EU — £2.64bn

3. Grand total £5.78 billion

What happens to the VAT you pay on goods and services?

We all have to pay VAT on the goods and services we buy. The standard rate in the UK is currently 20% and this is remitted by suppliers to HMRC in their quarterly VAT declarations. The EU then takes a proportion of the VAT paid by UK consumers via what it describes as “a complex statistical process”.

In the Treasury’s latest figures for the tax year 2018/2019
the total for the UK in VAT payments was £3.14bn.

This £3.14 billion was then included in the Treasury’s totals for what the UK sent to the EU in the tax year ended Apr 2019.

In effect, every time you buy something you are doing your bit to help the EU. To put it another way, if everyone in the UK bought twice as much, then the EU would benefit from another £3.14 billion. So we have to add that £3.14 billion to £11.2 billion

OK, now we understand how much we pay to the EU in VAT let's move on a little to what we pay to the EU in other areas.

What happens to Customs Duties on imported goods?

The EU has something called “the Common Customs Tariff”. This is a very lengthy list of products to which a variety of tariffs are applied before they can enter any EU country from non-EU countries.

If you buy something imported from the USA or Australia, then the UK Government has already been obliged by the EU to charge a tariff, or ‘duty’, on that product. Depending on the product, these tariffs can be anything up to 45%. Currently, the UK Government has to give 80% of that tariff to the EU

What happens to Customs Duties on imported goods?

In the Treasury’s latest figures for the tax year 2018/2019
the net total for the UK for Customs Duties was £2.64bn.

This £2.64 billion was then included in the Treasury’s totals for what the UK sent to the EU in the latest tax year.

We have £11.2 Billion

A further £3.14bn.

a further £2.64bn

However, there are many more EU funds that we pay into like the EU’s Cohesion Fund which over the years we have paid £7 billion

[ Sources: HM Treasury official 2019 figures ]



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.