TERRY TUCKER wonders how the EU is financed (HAS, May 16). It sets a budget in Brussels and HMRC collects taxes from UK citizens.

In London, tax payers’ money is then directly administered by the civil service for the statutory payments of the Common Agricultural Policy and other funds which are paid directly to farmers and other recipients by the UK Treasury. The remainder of the money is sent to Brussels.

For every £100 that the EU receives, £29 is spent on staff (and MEPs) salaries, pensions and benefits; £12 is spent on administrative and IT costs; further costs include building maintenance and other running costs are also met.

Any remaining funds are allocated to the governments of member states, with less affluent countries receiving more than they contribute. In 2016, the UK made the third largest contribution to the EU finances and was a net contributor. The MPs in Westminster then decide how money returned to the UK from the EU ought to be spent. The civil servants deduct administrative costs before allocating funds. The project administrators, presumably, also deduct their administrative costs before, finally, the remaining tax-payers money is released to “EU funded” projects.

So, as taxpayers of a member state, we are all helping to fund all the EU’s activities. It is the bureaucratic version of the late Paul Daniels’ “Magical Bunco Booth”.

To misquote the advertising Meercats: “Simple?”

Tim Brown, Ferryhill