Myth: Britain’s budget rebate is in danger
When the Leave camp is confronted with the fact that we don’t send £350 million a week to Brussels because Margaret Thatcher secured us a “rebate”, it oftens replies that the rebate is under threat. Michael Gove, for example, has said: “That rebate is decided by other countries. It’s not up to us.”
This isn’t true.
The rebate is written into the rules governing the ways the EU raises money. As a European Parliament briefing note puts it: “The UK rebate has … become de facto permanent”, since “unanimity of the Member States” would be required to change it.
The rebate is, of course, vulnerable to the whims of British ministers — as are most UK policy matters. But isn’t that the sort of domestic control eurosceptics say they want?
This article is an adaptation of a piece that previously appeared on InFacts.
Edited by Hugo Dixon