Statistical Accuracy and EU Contributions

Anthony B. Masters
Sep 12, 2018 · 4 min read
The amount “we send the EU” should reflect the actual cash-flow to the EU. (Photo: Getty Images)

In short

Four important figures

This table quantifies the different figures, from HM Treasury statistics. (Image: BBC)

We do not send the ‘rebate’

The abatement is applied before any money is transferred, meaning the post-abatement gross contribution is what we send. (Image: House of Commons Library)

Common Counterarguments

‘We really send £365m a week’

It is plain that the abatement is not sent to the EU. (Image: ONS)

‘The rebate is controlled by the EU, so we should include it’

‘£350m is the amount under the EU’s control’

‘The rebate is effectively a credit’

Andrew Tyrie: “It is not in fact debited from the consolidated funds.” (Video: YouTube/OldQueen)
The gross contribution to the EU (“total debits”) has the series ID ‘GCSM’. (Photo: ONS)

‘Only Remoaners think the figure is wrong’

‘Of course the rebate is sent back to us. That is what a rebate means’

‘It doesn’t matter: it did not affect the result’

‘It will be true some day’


Anthony B. Masters

Written by

This blog looks at the use of statistics in British political debates, and is written by RSS Statistical Ambassador @anthonybmasters.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade