This MP is very wrong about the Marshall Plan

Published: 5th Feb 2019

In brief

Claim

There was no Marshall Plan for Britain, only for Germany.

Conclusion

That’s incorrect. The UK received more funding from the Marshall Plan than any other country. We received around $3bn, and West Germany received around $1.5 billion.



 

By now you’ve probably seen the above tweet by Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski, and the thorough debunking it has already received online. But we thought it worth putting our own assessment of his claims about the Marshall Plan on record too.

Normally, when we see inaccurate claims in public life, they’re based on an incomplete or misleading representation of available information. It’s actually quite rare to see false claims that seem to be pulled completely out of thin air, as Mr Kawczynski’s claim is.

The Marshall Plan was an aid programme (officially known as the “European Recovery Programme”) undertaken by the USA towards Europe in the aftermath of World War II.

As the George C. Marshall Foundation puts it: “The Marshall Plan was intended to rebuild the economies and spirits of western Europe, primarily.”

Sources differ to an extent on exactly how much funding went into the Marshall Plan, but what is clear is that not only did the UK receive funds from the plan—contrary to Mr Kawczynski’s claim—but we in fact received more aid than any other nation.

Of the roughly $12 billion that the US put into the programme between 1948 and 1950, the “lion’s share” of $2.7 billion went to the UK, according to the UK government. If you include funding up to 1952 the UK received over $3 billion.

No country received more than the UK. West Germany received around to $1.5 billion (with the exact sum again depending on which source you read).

So while sources vary slightly as to the exact amounts, the UK undeniably received far more money from the Marshall Plan than West Germany did.


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