What we pay in

The EU budget in 2017 was 157.9 billion €uros (about £142.9 billion).

Member states pay about 1 per cent of what they earn.

UK pays 16.9 billion €uros (£15.36 billion).

Biggest items in EU budget:
   Support for farmers, fisheries, and environmental protection takes about one third of the budget,
   Other areas include combating terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration. About 6% is spent on internal administration mostly at the Commission.

More on the budget

Support for farmers, including British farmers, is to help them produce enough food, at prices people can afford and in a way that protects the environment.

Support for business, including British business, includes grants for research and development, and the development of sustainable energy. Support for less well off areas in Britain and in other EU countries includes the cost of retraining when jobs are lost and improvements to roads and bridges.

From what is left some goes on emergency relief and development aid to other parts of the world.

A small amount of the budget is needed to pay for the central activities of the Union. Most of the rest is spent by the member states themselves.

The budget is paid for by the member countries.  Each country contributes about the same amount in proportion to what it earns. This is about one percent of the value of things its makes and the services it provides. 

The UK gets about half back in direct payments, together with a substantial annual reduction of its net contribution.

In 2016/17, after deducting receipts from EU programmes and a rebate of £3 billion, the UK's net contribution was about £8.1 billion or £156 million per week.

The UK's gross contribution was almost 11 percent of the EU budget, just over half of Germany's contribution and lower than France's and Italy's.