7 things other than Brexit that €50bn could buy


From one year’s entire defence budget to almost a thousand years of British democracy.

According to the BBC, the UK could end up paying €50bn to the EU as part of the final Brexit deal.

A YouGov Live poll from the 29th November suggests that 34% of Brits disagree with this, saying the country should not pay such an amount “even if it means the rest of the EU will not negotiate a future trade deal with Britain”. On the other hand, 31% said the UK should pay €50bn.

At the current rate, this is the equivalent of £44.17bn – although before the Brexit vote it was significantly higher – but what else could be bought with such a figure?

1. The defence budget

According to UK Public Spending, the UK’s defence budget for the fiscal year finishing in 2018 is estimated to be £45.4bn. That means that the €50bn figure could pay for almost the entire UK defence budget for one whole year.

2. The 2017 deficit

The deficits have long been an important issue in British politics. In 2017, the country's deficit was £52bn, according to the BBC, meaning that the touted €50bn figure could almost cover the UK's deficit for one whole year.

3. 238 Neymars

In August 2017, Neymar became the world’s most expensive football player ever. His transfer fee to Paris-St Germain was a record £198 million, as reported by the Telegraph. For £44.17bn – or €50bn – the government could get 238 Neymars. Which would be better value for Britain?

4. Scotland’s budget (and a bit more)

The Scottish government’s 2016/17 budget was worth £37 billion. €50bn could get the British government 1.19 Scottish budgets.

5. Almost a millenium's worth of British MPs

Excluding expenses and additional ministerial pay, an MP’s salary is £74,962 per anum. Instead of paying for Brexit, the government could pay for almost 600,000 extra MPs (if that’s what they wanted!) Alternatively, the amount could pay for 906 years’ worth of MPs.

6. Part of Facebook

According to CNN, in July 2017 Mark Zuckerberg's company became worth a staggering $500bn dollars. Instead of paying the so-called divorce bill, Theresa May’s government could opt to purchase a small part of this internet giant internet giant instead.

7. Three years of EU membership fees

As opposed to exiting the union, the UK could stick around for longer. According to Full Fact, which checks claims to see if they are reliable, the UK pays £13bn each year to the EU as a so-called “membership fee”. The €50bn figure being touted could cover the country's membership subscription for just over three years.

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