“The EU accounts have never been signed off”

Not true. There is a persistent myth (reliably recycled every year by UK newspapers) that the European Court of Auditors has refused to sign off the EU’s accounts, but this is entirely false.

In the most recent audit year (2013), the Court gave a clean bill of health to the accounts for the seventh time in a row. This means every euro spent from the EU budget was duly recorded in the books and accounted for. Evidence

According to the European Court of Auditors, around 0.2% of the EU budget may have been subject to fraud. Any amount of possible fraud is unacceptable and needs challenging. But it’s worth noting that the figure of 0.2% is much lower than most national budgets! Evidence


“EU membership costs us a fortune”

Not true. In fact, our own (rather eurosceptic) government estimates that EU membership is worth £3000 a year to every British family. And the budget for the whole EU is just 1% of GDP, compared to about 49% spent by national governments. That’s just 2% of our public spending each year. Evidence

Each country pays a contribution to the budget proportional to its wealth, so wealthier countries pay more. The exact amount varies each year, but over the seven-year cycle 2007-2013 our net annual contribution was £3.8 billion, or about £63 per person. The UK’s contribution is actually much lower than other similar sized economies such as Germany and France, partly because we get a special rebate. Evidence

This contribution must be weighed against the financial benefits of our access to the single market. In 2011, the UK government estimated this to be between £30 billion and £90 billion per year — so a return on investment of between 800% and 2370%. Evidence

Many thousands of projects in the UK benefit each year. Detailed lists