I think you completely underestimate our role in the EU, we are one of the main financiers.
In 2014 the UK paid 13% of all net contributions in the EU, 2015 was 27%, 2016 was 15% and 2017 is going to be just over 20% I think.
Germany's contribution has been going down, France's contribution has been going down, ours is going up (although ours see-saws, low year, high year, low year etc for some reason). Yet Germany's and France's GDP have been going up.
The EU already has a £20bn+ deficit for 2017 and is looking to plug that hole, guess where much of that is planned to come from whether we leave or not.
The EU knows full well that a lot of the economically smaller countries are highly dependent on EU payouts, if the EU can't fund them, they will probably leave.
In the worst case, what is so wrong with WTO rules, there are many countries in the world trade using them, including the EU.
To minimise administration we could agree a fixed tariff of 2% on everything between the EU and UK (in both directions). That saves us money and cost the EU, if they don't like that the only option is to go with tariff free trading, we don't gain, they don't lose.
A tariff free agreement makes sense for the EU not the UK.
The only thing that the EU offers is price fixing, the idea of taxing people to pay the EU to pay the farmers to reduce the price of products to the consumers is madness.
We were way ahead of the EU on human rights before we joined.
We were way ahead of the EU on safety before we joined.
We were way ahead of the EU on state health services before we joined.
We were way ahead of the EU on unemployment before we joined.
We were way ahead of the EU on law and order before we joined.
Our standard of living in the UK is dropping unbelievably. A friend of mine in Romania has a lowered car, the roads there are brilliant, he has no problems. He couldn't drive that car in this country, the roads are terrible, even our motorways are like bucking broncos.
Street lamps, we have two defective ones outside my home. Doctors, nearly impossible to get appointments. A&E chocker despite having two secondary services added to relieve their load. Police, I remember seeing one of them a week or so ago. Vandalism, see a new piece of that nearly daily within 100ft of my home. Energy supplies at a near critical state. Watelands being created.
Food prices up, insurance prices up, energy prices up, travel prices up, disposable income going down.
So just how is the EU helping us?
Oh yes, we get pretty bits of metal stuck on corners and roundabouts that rust away and end up looking like a Steptoe reject. Parklands get restored and immediately start going to rack and ruin despite being classed as "sustainable". New houses and commercial property built in the most haphazard of plans and good things destroyed to make way for them.
With regard to Ex's comments. London have a population of almost 9 million. The need for more is obvious.
Greater London covers an area of 611 square miles. The need for good transport infrastructure is imperative.
For some living in the South East might be the lap of luxury but for most, they struggle more than we do up here. It's pure fallacy to think that everyone south of Bedford has a better existence. They do not, neither do they in East Anglia. It's a struggle for many and they get no more in benefits that anywhere else in the country.
One big difference, they still have their communities down there in the villages and small towns. They help each other, in a far better way than we do up here. We think the answer to all ills is to give a can of beans to the food bank once a week. Community spirit and all of that, and think such a noble act deserves reward.
Maybe in the north, jealousy motivates our reasoning and ability to realise that we actually have the better option. Try and figure out how a young mother of 3 boys is able to pay almost £1000 a month in rent for a shit little terraced house in a Kent village, where there's hardly any work or industry. Try and figure out how a family of 5 can afford to pay £900 per month for a 2 bedroom bungalow , in the heart of the countryside where there is no shop, school, post office, of facility apart from a church. This is the rural community down there, and they travel 30/40 miles day to work if need be.
Some people up here live on cloud cuckoo, thinking that they are so hard done by in this part of the country.
A 'Super Off Peak' return rail ticket from Ashford in Kent to London is approx. £30 , a 45 minute journey. To add to that Southern Rail is owned by Keolis ,70% owned by "National society of French railways