UK payments to EU are half sum touted by Brexit advocates - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UK payments to EU are half sum touted by Brexit advocates

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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's statistics agency says the country's contribution to the European Union's coffers last year was around half the amount some advocates of Brexit claimed during last year's referendum.

The Office for National Statistics said Tuesday that Britain's net transfer to the EU in 2016 was 9.4 billion pounds ($12.4 billion). That's about 180 million pounds per week, around half the 350 million pounds the Vote Leave campaign said could be saved in case of Brexit and spent on healthcare.

That claim is seen to have boosted support for the campaign for Britain to leave the EU.

The statistics agency came to its figure by subtracting a rebate and EU public-sector credits from Britain's gross 18.9 billion-pound contribution. The net contribution could be even lower if private-sector credits are included.

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