Free ride on someone else's defense for 70 years and this is what you get.
...in exchange for turning the blind eye on US gov't sponsored industrial espionage against EADS, Airbus, Astrium and the likes, why, thank you very much. We're not worthy...
Now that would make perfect sense.
We pump more money in than some others and, as compensation, we're allowed to opt-out of certain things.
You make it sound as if the UK is one of the most significant contributors to the EU budget. You get a whopping rebate on your net EU contribution, seen per capita. In 2009 every UK citizen contributed 62.7 EUR to the budget, whereas the Danes had to pay 211 EUR each, which was also the reason Denmark was threatening to veto the budget earlier this year in case they wouldn't get a similar rebate to the UK, Austria and Sweden.
I'm not sure if a long train ride in first world country qualifies for such paranoia