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Open Europe News in Brief


UK’s gross contribution to EU budget rose to £18.5bn last year. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the UK’s gross contribution to the EU budget rose by 5.7% last year to £18.5bn. At the same time, the money Britain received back from the EU fell by almost a quarter to £8.1bn, a fall of £2.6bn in only one year. (Mail Express, 24 November)

EU Commissioner: London would lose out under eurozone financial transactions tax. EU Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta said in an interview that a eurozone-only financial transactions tax would be “designed in such a way that it doesn’t matter where transactions are taking place. I think that London will lose out.” Šemeta has also warned that he could take the UK to court if it fails to re-write its multibillion pound tax agreement with Switzerland. (FT, 28 November)

EU plans for ‘green’ public buildings to cost UK taxpayers £50bn over three decades. It has been revealed that, under new European Commission proposals, UK taxpayers may have to pay billions of pounds a year to install green technology into council houses, schools, hospitals and other public buildings. The initiative, if implemented, is estimated cost local authorities £50bn over the next 33 years. (Sunday Telegraph, 27 November)