EU Referendum

Reality Check: Do we get £1,200 back for every £120 we put into the EU?

Julie Elliott MP

The claim: We get £1,200 back for every £120 we put into the EU.

Reality Check verdict: The CBI figure that this is based on has been widely criticised as being based on research finding unusually large amounts of benefits.

Labour MP Julie Elliot asked: "Does the prime minister agree with me that it's very important that we make the positive case for remaining in the EU - that each of us gets £1,200 back for every £120 we put in?"

Is it true?

Well, the £1,200 is about what you get if you divide the CBI's figure of £3,000 per household per year by 2.4, which is the size of the average household.

There has been a fair amount of criticism of the CBI figure. It was based on five research papers, which were among those that found the greatest benefits to EU membership.

A report from the House of Commons Library warned that such calculations were based on making hefty assumptions and as such the conclusions "can appear influenced by the prior convictions of those conducting the analysis".

As for the £120 cost, that also comes from the CBI report. It's taken the figure for the UK's net contribution (that's subtracting the rebate and the value of direct payments made back to the UK to support things like agriculture and rural development) and divided that by the population.

But it is based on the figures for 2011. If you do the same calculation with 2014 figures you get to £154.

UPDATE: The CBI has returned to its research since the 2013 publication I linked to above. It still concludes the figure is £3,000.


Read more: The facts behind claims in the EU debate


  • This article previously appeared on the Reality Check Live Page.

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