What the IFS actually said about the UK's EU membership fee

Last updated: 07 Jun 2016

"There are billions of pounds that we send to the European Union every year and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has pointed out that if we took that money back we could spend it on our NHS, we could use it to reduce VAT on fuel …"

Michael Gove, Sky News, 3 June 2016

Actually, the IFS predicts that leaving the EU would be bad for public finances overall.

"…we conclude that leaving the EU would not, as Michael Gove claims we said, leave more money to spend on the NHS. Rather it would leave us spending less on public services, or taxing more, or borrowing more."

IFS Blog, 6 June 2016

The IFS has restated its position in full.

"The net UK contribution to the EU over the next few years is indeed likely to be about £8 billion a year, £8 billion which would become available for other things were we to leave. However... there is virtual unanimity among economic forecasters that the negative economic effect of leaving the EU would be greater than that."

IFS Blog, 6 June 2016

Experts on both sides agree that the potential saving on the UK's EU membership fee is less important than the overall effect on economic growth.

 


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