There are many initiatives blocked by the UK, the biggest was the social charter. Also all wealthy countries are net contributors and when you look at the numbers the UK has nothing to complain about. They payed 6,27b£ net in 2010 that's a measely 71 euro per capita, Denmark pays 220, Netherlands 150 etc and the pure numbers don't even show the advantages for being in the EU. GDP of Britain has grown 25b£ thanks to the single market, EU trade is worth 200b£ yearly and 3,5m jobs are linked to the single market in the EU. The UK recieves a huge amount of FDI ( around 1,125 trillion $) part thanks to being in that single market, half those companies moving to another country would be a social disaster ( all eurostat numbers). EU migration has resulted in 20bn£ worth of taxes ( which is more then the social security cost of those people).And again leaving the EU would mean they still need to follow the rules to access the market yet they won't have anything to say anymore
Nobody is saying the EU is perfect because it isn't ( it has a lot of problems, but those aren't solved by leaving they are solved by staying and reforming) but the benefits are way bigger than just the numbers, the amount of money the UK recieves from the ESF and regional funds is big. Same with funding for education and research. The European single market has driven more growth in the UK than would have been possible without it, ofcourse you have the red tape and all the rules but you can't have a single market without regulating it, without all those rules the market wouldn't work. I just can't see how somebody who has a basic understanding of how the EU works ( and not the biased one most Brits have) can think leaving would benefit them. The EU is the most prosperous zone in the world it has enormous negotiationpower, good luck with securing FTA deals without the EU power behind you, you'll only lose more money. TTIP will be a far better deal for the UK than a deal they would have negotiated on their own. In this globalised world you need to work together to be strong, going in alone will only result in losses. And that's the main strength of the EU that most overlook, a strong block that can dictate it's rules across the world which wouldn't be possible as a country alone.
Also why does it matter where I'm from? Do I need to be from the UK to partake in a discussion about British/EU politics? I study International and European politics at one of the leading universities in my country, I think that's enough kwalification to have my say about European politics.
I didnt say that most of the big countries arent net contributors. You said we have a lot to lose? I disagreed and laid out some facts.
and no... you dont have to be from the UK to take part in the discussion, but it is material where you are from. Whats the big secret? And studying politics doesnt make your opinion any more valid I'm afraid whatever you may think.
It staggers me that people think big government and especially large Bloc's (intentional) are not dangerous.