Fact check: will your household be better off in or out of the EU?

Being able to reduce a complex issue down to a single, quotable figure is the holy grail of any political argument.

And, sadly, it's nigh on impossible.

As the 2017 EU referendum gears up, it's clear that a lot of numbers are being batted about by both the In and Out campaigns.

We've taken three recent claims and done a little digging, to hopefully dispel myths brought about by waving statistics around.

*So here's three claims made about Britain and the EU, broken down and analysed:


"Each UK household benefits around £3,000 from EU membership."


As Open Europe stated, this figure is based on a CBI assessment from 2013 which found that the EU membership benefits the UK around four or five per cent of GDP, or around £3,000 a household. This was based off a literature review of just five papers, which does not fully assess the hypothetical situation of life outside the EU.

It’s also incorrect to assume benefits to GDP affect every household evenly.

The CBI assessment is also far more optimistic about the increase to GDP than the reports it is based on, which claim an increase of only two or three per cent to GDP.


"EU membership makes every British person £450 a year better off through lower prices."


This claim comes from a paper by the European Commission, based on an analysis on the effects of globalisation on America between 1972 and 2001.

The EU Comission simply took the percentages of benefits of variety of goods and applied it to the GDP of the EU, assuming trade would open up in the exact same way on two completely different continents.

While the principle may not be incorrect to produce a rough estimate, the £450 tag is very specific to not be weighing into the figure policies such as the Common Agricultural policy, which critics argue have artificially raised the price of food.


"We can spend the £350m we send to Brussels every week on priorities like the NHS."


Kate Hoey, co-chair of Labour's 'out' group, said:

We must end the supremacy of EU law over UK law. If we vote to leave, then the £350m we send to Brussels every week can be spent on our priorities like the NHS.

As Channel 4's Fact Check found in a parliamentary report in 2014, our contributions to the EU are offset by the Public Sector Receipts the UK receives.

As a result net contribution to the EU was closer to around £190m a week in 2014 – roughly half the money we give in, we get back.

There’s no doubt that membership costs taxpayers a significant amount in contributions - but EU supporters suggest this cost is worth the extra jobs and trade provided by EU membership.

More:Here's what it will take for David Cameron to stay in the EU

More:June Sarpong has revealed her big plan to keep Britain in the EU: We need the Frenchness of the French

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