UK Markets closed

EXCLUSIVE: UK MEPs will keep expenses for three months after Brexit at £400,000 cost

Luke James
Brussels correspondent
The UK’s best known MEP, Nigel Farage, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg (Getty)

Nigel Farage will be paid £6,000 in expenses for being an MEP – even after he is made redundant by Brexit, Yahoo Finance UK can reveal.

Seventy-three MEPs are due to lose their jobs on 29 March next year — the day on which the two-year Article 50 process finishes and Brexit officially takes effect.

But all British MEPs, of which Mr Farage is one, will still receive almost £2,000-a-month ($2,584) in expenses until the end of June as part of their redundancy package.

Details of the payments were included in a presentation given to UK MEPs, which has been obtained by Yahoo Finance UK through a freedom of information request.

It reveals that UK MEPs will be entitled to keep half of the £3,950-a-month ‘General Expenditure Allowance’ (GEA), which is paid directly to all MEPs every month, for three months after leaving.

That means they will each receive £5,800 in expenses over the period in which they will no longer be working – a total bill of £423,400.

A slide from the presentation obtained by Yahoo UK explaining MEPs will be entitled to some expenses after Brexit

A European Parliament spokesperson said the policy was designed to “allow the MEP to wind down their office in their constituency” by covering final payments for office rent and other administrative costs.

However, it is likely to prove controversial because, unlike MPs at Westminster, MEPs receive the whole expenses allowance into their bank accounts and are not required to prove what they spent it on.

That has caused concerns about the abuse of the allowance, leading MEPs to vote last week in favour of tougher transparency rules which would require MEPs to provide receipts for purchases and return any unspent funds. However, those rules are unlikely to have come into force before Brexit.

READ MORE: Steven Woolfe the only UK MEP to vote against new expenses transparency measures 

On top of expenses, MEPs will also receive a “transitional allowance” of £7,600-a-month for up to two years after losing their jobs.

Every MEP under 63-years-old will receive the transition payments for a minimum of six months unless they find alternative work.

After that, MEPs will receive an extra month’s allowance for every year they served as an MEP up to a maximum of two year’s.

Another slide from the presentation given to UK MEPs explaining what payments they will be entitled to after Brexit

That means every MEP who doesn’t find work will receive at least £45,000 in transitional payments.

The UK’s longest serving MEP, Labour’s David Martin who won his seat in 1984, could receive the full allowance of £182,000. Other long serving MEPs like UKIP’s Farage, who has been in place since 1999, could receive £152,000.

MEPs already over 63 years old will begin receiving the pension of £260-a-month for every year they served in the parliament.

The European Parliament will also cover the cost of MEPs’ final journey back to the UK and shipment of up to 15 boxes of belongings from their office, the presentation reveals.

The presentation, entitled ‘members’ entitlements, staff and logistics in the framework of Brexit’, was given to MEPs by officials from the parliament’s finance department in Strasbourg on October 23.

Julie Girling, one of the MEPs present, said: “Never seen so many UKIP members attend a meeting in Strasbourg before.”

MORE: Court blocks bid to end secrecy over MEP expenses