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What can you buy with £50 billion? #Brexit

The Guardian (amongst others) reported yesterday morning that the UK might have to pay £50 billion to the EU for the Brexit divorce bill. That’s 67.3 billion dollars or 56.8 billion euros.

So if we imagine for one blissful, painful minute that the UK hadn’t voted to leave the EU in June 2016 by a sickeningly narrow 3.8% margin and we had £50 billion rattling around in the government’s pockets… what could we buy?

What can you buy with £50 BILLION??

At £29.99 each on Amazon UK, you could buy 1.6 billion maps of the European Union with the UK included… to bury in Parliament Square?

Last year’s spending on secondary education was £27 billion so you could pretty much triple that for a year and see what the outcome of increased spending on education was.

Or, the average teacher’s salary in a state school is approx £28 000, so with around 438 000 teachers in the UK (last figures were from 2011) you could pay an extra 178 571 teachers for 10 years. Equally, you could decide to reward the hard working teachers already in their posts and pay them an extra £2840 a year for the next 40 years (£113 636 total).

You could buy every person in the UK (65.64 million) 160 LARGE pots of Marmite (£4.75) each. I probably get through one of those babies in two months so that would be enough to last me nearly 27 years of daily Marmite toast. #lifegoals

marmite pot food

The NHS prescribed a record number of anti-depressants last year- 64.7 million units- and Mind estimates that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental health issues each year. The average salary for a psychologist working for the NHS is £31 000 a year so you could hire an extra 163 000 psychologists for 10 years to help support mental health teams in local clinics.

A Disneyland Paris ticket to visit both parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios) is £49 for an adult, so you could buy 1 billion tickets. That would be a lovely Christmas present Mrs May, THANK YOU!

The New York Times reports that there around 10 000 finance jobs (some articles say more!)  will be moved overseas. Currently, jobseeker’s allowance is £73.10 a week for over 25 yr olds, so £50 billion would cover 683 million weeks of unemployment benefits.

disney park paris

Good Housekeeping voted Tesco’s Finest the best mince pies this year. They are £2 for a box of 6, so you could buy 25 billion mince pies. If that horde of pies was divided between the British population, we would all have 380 mince pies to munch through.

This summer I decided that I would only buy new clothes if I could buy them secondhand or afford to buy from ethical brands. Cheap Monday are a brand that sells affordable, stylish jeans and they have a good track record for sustainability and safe labour practices. A pair of their jeans costs €60 (£53) so the Government could send out a pair to each person in the UK and still have 28 million pairs left over… for those who have been really good this year.

We’ve all wondered what Richard Branson and all his celebrity guests talk about when they’re staying with him on Necker Island and although the $82 000 a night is usually out of our reach, with £50 billion we could stay there for 822 233 nights or 29 500 lifetimes (with the current 81.5 year life expectancy in the UK). Start making a list of your 29 499 closest friends.

cheap monday jeans

To put it into some perspective, £50 billion is around the same amount as Sri Lanka’s GPD and it’s more than the annual GDP of Costa Rica, or Tanzania, or Ghana.

According to YouGov the Nation’s favourite crisp flavour is cheese and onion by 31%, with ready salted coming a close second at 28%. Amazon UK are currently selling huge 48 bag multipacks of Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps for £25.40, which would mean 198 million packs or 3 packs per person (that’s 114 bags of crisps).

Most people think the new iPhone X looks great and works great. It’s just WAY too expensive (£999!?!) for any reasonable person to seriously consider buying. However, if the Government is going to set a bad example and make life-changingly bad decisions then we’ll have 50 million iPhone Xs please.

The average UK fuel bill (gas and electric) reached £1344 a year in 2014 (it’s probably higher still this year). The £50 billion Brexit divorce bill could cover 37.2 million fuel bills, which is only £38 billion short of covering the whole country for a year.

The new Tesla Model 3 ships in 12 months for the UK and it’s selling for £26 000. That gives the Government enough time to put in an order for 1.9 million cars to help reduce car pollution.

A British MP earns about £75 000 a year. So the Brexit £50 billion could pay for 666 666 MP salaries or 6666 more MPs for 100 years. All the sixes can’t be a coincidence…

And, food for thought, Jeff Bezos, with his current wealth estimated at $100 billion could afford to pay off the divorce bill and still have $32.7 billion, which would drop him down to the 17th richest person on the Forbes billionaire’s list.

jeff bezos miles aldridge

Photo of Disneyland Paris by Park Troopers/Unsplash

Photo of Jeff Bezos by Miles Aldridge for Time. 


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