Why it’s not always smart to listen to experts


Throughout the referendum campaign and still afterwards, many who supported the Remain view alleged loudly and repeatedly that the Leave side were lying about their figures. Nothing stoked Remainers ire so much as the claim that the UK sends £350 Million to Brussels every week. Experts of every hue were produced to deny and condemn this shameless deception being practiced on a gullible public, and which was blazoned on the side of Boris’s battle bus.

The BBC – impartial as always – produced its in-house economic experts to deride the claim. After a couple of weeks, even Boris Johnson and Michael Gove started to look shifty when the figure was alleged against them relentlessly by the likes of Laura Kuenssberg.

The experts explained that figure was nothing like so high as £350 Million once you took into account certain economic matters that we experts know all about but which you little people are too ignorant to understand. In reality, they said, we send around £170 Million to Brussels.

Interestingly, it turns out that it wasn’t a lie after all, but a pretty accurate estimate. And the source for this revelation is none other than the EU Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Cretu.

Reuters news agency reported on Monday 27 June, four days after the referendum result was announced, that Cretu said, “I’m worried because it’s clear that Britain’s exit will make the overall EU budget after 2020 fall by about 15 percent.”

So, according to the EU we pay 15 percent of the EU budget. In 2016 the budget is €144 Billion so UK is paying about €21 Billion = £17.3 Billion and that equals £332 million per week.

This doesn’t include a few little “extras” that the EU has successfully extracted from Britain, such as the £660 Million the EU “fined” us for “misspending” the EU budget. This adds another £12.6 million a week to our bill, making a total of  £344 Million each week.

Sometimes it’s useful to listen to experts. And sometimes it’s better to just remember what your Mum told you and not be taken in by big-headed, loud-mouthed know-alls.

More information from Reuters here.

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