HL Deb 20 January 1982 vol 426 c606

2.46 p.m.

Earl Alexander of Tunis

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the United Kingdom's weekly contribution to the EEC budget and what was it in 1979.

The Minister of State, Treasury (Lord Cockfield)

My Lords, neither receipts nor payments are made on a weekly basis. Moreover, refunds under the agreement of May 1980 are, for the most part, made in the following year. If one looks at actual receipts and payments during the year in question, then the net contribution in 1981 is estimated to be approximately £500 million. The corresponding figure in 1979 was £947 million. Expressed as weekly averages these figures would be somewhat less than £10 million for 1981 and approximately £18 million for 1979.

Earl Alexander of Tunis

My Lords, while thanking my noble friend for his reply, can he tell the House whether he expects the figure for 1982 to be further reduced?

Lord Cockfield

My Lords, I think it would be premature to speculate now on the precise amount of the figure for 1982.