Taxpayers would STILL face Brussels bill of hundreds of millions under Sturgeon's EU plan

Existing European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries are required to make financial contributions to the bloc.

The amount would be a matter for negotiation but the paper suggests if the UK sought membership its net contribution this would be around £3.3 billion a year, if it secured a deal similar to Norway.

There were no figures for a separate Scottish application however the document said the cash could be found from a pro-rata share of current UK payments.

Latest statistics show Scotland handed over more than half-a-billion pounds to EU institutions last year.

According to Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland report the county paid out more than £1.1billion, getting only £610million back in public sector EU receipts.

The UK as a whole made a net payment of £10.8billion, despite the historic rebate secured by Margaret Thatcher that reduces the overall sum.

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