The Corner

The Cost of EU Membership

Or part of it, anyway…

Open Europe (my emphasis added):

Based on over 2,300 of the Government’s own impact assessments, Open Europe finds that regulation has cost the UK economy £176 billion since 1998 – roughly equivalent to the country’s entire budget deficit. Of this amount, £124 billion, or 71%, had its origin in EU legislation.  While the UK Government and the EU have taken positive steps to make the laws they pass less burdensome, the cost of regulation to the private and public sector keeps on going up every year. Since the UK Government launched its ‘Better Regulation Agenda’ in 2005, the annual cost of regulation has doubled. This is in no small part due to a failure to stem the flow of new, costly EU regulations.

We estimate the benefit/cost ratio of EU regulations at 1.02, while the ratio of UK regulations is 2.35. In other words, for every £1 of cost, EU regulations introduced since 1998 have only delivered £1.02 of benefits, meaning that it is 2.5 times more cost effective to regulate nationally than it is to regulate via the EU.


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