The EU does cost money, as any club does. The question is, what do we get for the money? The return in benefits, financial and otherwise, is more than worth the investment as each of us gains over £1,000 per year from our membership. Besides, to leave the EU yet seek to remain within the single market will still involve a significant payment to the EU budget with no say in how it is spent.
Currently, the net contribution per capita of the UK is £116 per person which, although less than Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands, is still a significant amount of money. However, this is only half the story since the wider economic benefits of continued EU membership more than cover these costs and each individual makes on average £1,225 per year from our membership.
Within Scotland the situation is actually even better. Scots make a net contribution per capita of only £8 per year which means that the benefits dramatically outweigh any costs. Scots are already much more likely to see the EU as good value for money than elsewhere in the UK and rightly so, we do well out of the deal.
The EU budget should also be seen in context. It is minor compared to what national governments spend. The EU budget makes up around 1% of EU GDP yet the budgets of the EU’s various governments represent (on average) around 49% of GDP.