THE EU was last night accused of frittering away £2million a year of taxpayers’ money on a sun-kissed HQ in Barbados — 4,400 miles from Brussels.
It was set up so 39 staff and officials based there can hand out £230million-worth of funding to Caribbean projects including helping to retrain banana growers.
The HQ consists of offices with sea views on the posh palm-fringed South West coast of Barbados.
And apartments with balconies in a luxurious apartment block overlooking the beach have been rented for two EU officials of a “relatively senior level” to live in.
The revelation that Brussels is bankrolling its own base on the paradise isle — alongside national embassies — triggered accusations of money wasting and empire building last night.
Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, said: “The EU fails to understand we don’t want their officials sitting in luxury offices in tropical countries handing out our money on projects we have no say over.
“A Sun poll earlier this month showed people want to trade with the EU but not be governed by them.
“That includes not funding Eurocrats’ luxury lifestyles when taxpayers in the UK can’t afford to take their families abroad.” The offices have been decked out with the EU logo. And the officials’ apartment block comes with lush gardens and a swimming pool.
Holidaymaker Ken Emery, 76, told how he was stunned when he saw the HQ just outside Bridgetown.
Retired businessman Ken, of Brentwood, Essex, said: “I was amazed when I saw the EU had such luxurious office space so far from their own borders.
“We don’t need unelected European mandarins trying to set up their own diplomatic corps and spreading their tentacles around the globe using our money.
“It smacks of empire building by those determined to push a federal European superstate.” The EU last night confirmed the cost of offices and admin in Barbados is around £2million a year.
It said the offices were picked because they were close to the island’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the British High Commission.
The delegation doles out cash from European taxpayers to projects in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands.
A spokesman said: “Only people of a relatively senior level are posted to these places. Nine EU officials and 30 local staff cover ten Caribbean countries.
“The EU office administers £230million in funding, like helping to build hospitals and schools for the many in the region who live in poverty.”