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‘Brexit Dividend’ – Britain Will Save £100 Million by Missing EU Elections

MEPs
FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty

Britain is set to save more than £100 million after deciding to pull out of European Parliament elections in May next year.

The decision was hailed an “excellent decision” by former Tory leader Ian Duncan Smith, who called for the extra cash to be pumped into Britain’s struggling National Health Service (NHS), the Daily Mail reports.

In 2014, the last European Parliament elections cost British taxpayers a massive £109 million, according to the BBC, despite low public interest and engagement.

The turnout was just 35 per cent, which means that only 16.5 million Brits bothered to take part in elections to the Brussels-backed parliament, which is not actually capable of initiating or repealing legislation.

In contrast, the European Union (EU) membership referendum of 2016 drew around 33.6 million people to the polls, with a high turnout of 72.2 per cent.

Of the £109 million spent on the 2014 vote, £41 million went on mailing voters to tell them who the candidates for the EU Parliament were, and another £31 million was spent on staffing and running the polling stations across the nation.

Despite the welcome “dividend”, it pales in insignificance against the massive £35 to £39 billion that is the Brexit “divorce bill” that Prime Minister Theresa May has agreed to pay Brussels.

Mrs. May told Parliament that the fee had been jointly agreed in a meeting between the Treasury and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, in December.

She reportedly first offered Brussels a sum of more than £30 billion back in September 2017.

In April this year, the National Audit Office (NAO) warned that the UK could pay even more, mentioning an extra £3 billion in budget contributions as well as an additional £2.9 billion to the European Development Fund.

However, according to OBR estimates, the UK will be spending less than if it had remained a member of the EU in 2020 and 2021, with the nation being left £3 billion better off thanks to the Brexit vote overall.

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