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Shocking News: Vote Leave's '£350 Million Saving' for Leaving the EU Was a Big Old Lie

The Office of National Statistics has estimated our contribution to the EU is significantly lower than that.

'That' bus (Picture by: Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire)

Remember when the Leave campaign kept harping on about how the UK sends the EU £350 million a week? So much so that they put that claim on the side of a bus?

Well, in news shocking to almost no one, new official figures have exposed Vote Leave's inescapable campaign slogan as a lie. According to research by the Office for National Statistics, the UK's net contribution to the European Union was around £199 million a week last year – a significantly smaller amount than Vote Leave claimed.

The Remain side of the campaign disputed the £350 million figure at the time, insisting Vote Leave was misleading the public because the hefty sum didn't take the amount of money the UK also received from the EU into account, but this got a bit lost in the drama of it all. Before the application for rebate, the UK contributed around £19.6 billion a year (that's £376 million a week) to the EU. But the rebate worked out to 4.9 billion a year, decreasing the UK's yearly contribution to £14.7 billion. And after taking the EU's contributions to the UK public sector into account, the final figure decreases to £10.4 billion per year, which is roughly £199 million a week. Which is still a lot of of money, granted, but quite a lot less than £350 million.

The truth has come out now, one month on from a referendum in which one of the key issues was the cost of membership. And look what happened: Nigel Farage torpedoed the Vote Leave promise to give the NHS £350 million a week just hours after victory was assured, and now it turns out there wasn't even £350 million to be saved. Oh, what a time to be alive.