You say you are confused and I bet that goes for 98% of the population of EUROPE - but at least you are addressing the matter and not being taken in by the spin and the lies.
When we were taken into the EEC, the implications and facts were concealed from us and in fact successive politicians have misled us - a lot of what they have said has in fact turned out to be a lie. Unlike 1972 we have access to far more information and many those who have bothered to research this have concluded that it (the EU) is not good for Britain
At least the politicians in the other EU countries are honest and are saying exactly what they expect the EU to become - a Federal State with a central bank run by un-elected Commissioners - already sacked once for fraud but reinstated because they are immune from prosecution. MEPs say they are just there to rubber stamp the Diktats that are swarming out every day.
You seem to agree that we are being led (I would say misled or controlled) by the EU (not Europe). Yes of course we can go it alone, as has Norway. If we were to go it alone we would be able to look after our own people instead of overtaxing our people to fund an extending EU. Norway still has most of its oil in the ground and is doing well very thank you very much. We pay one of the highest prices for petrol in the world and the EU is consuming our stocks at an alarming rate - but of course since the EU stole our territorial waters, the oil belongs to the EU. You don't think the loss of our waters was about fishing do you?
We do not need to be in a trading bloc - it is out of date because WTO etc has largely broken down the trade barriers. Once upon a time the EU tariff (defence wall) was so high no one could get in - that is one of the reasons we joined in the first place. Nowadays there are Free Trade Agreements, which have superceded, protected trading blocs.
I don't think any one country would want to try to defend itself today you rely on your friends. We are not isolated because we are in NATO, WTO, GATT, NAFTA, G8 and Lord knows what else but will cease to be members once we are fully integrated. At the moment, we are a respected member with a say of our own. As soon as the United States of Europe are up and running our military will be under the control of the EU, we will no longer be able to represent ourselves at the G8 etc and in fact foreigners could be representing us at world level conferences. We will have a miniscule say in the affairs of the EU, more so when it expands (at our expense).
The decisions we can take ourselves are diminishing all the time. EU law supersedes/takes precedence over our laws. Slowly Westminster is becoming irrelevant except as an organisation responsible for imposing EU laws and diktats.
Your last paragraph is about the Regional Assemblies that have already been set up (at great expense). The UK has been divided up into 12 economic regions by EU order. They are part of 111 "Local Governments" set up by the EU. The EU codes them all and the UK codes are UKC, UKD etc to UKN. Wales is UKL, Scotland is UKM and Northern Ireland is UKN. After about 2006, Westminster will have no powers left and our affairs will be run from Brussels and administered locally by UKC, UKD etc. So if you want to complain about UK policy who are you going to write to? You will have to write to Brussels and see if you can convince Latvia etc to give you a fair hearing.
Twelve months ago I was oblivious to all that has happened and like most people I felt that our politicians were the ones responsible for the break up of my industry, the railways, the post office etc but when I got to the bottom of it, it was always the same. Most of the things that have happened and a detrimental to Britain, have come about as a direct result of an EU diktat or law and these over rule British law. Even FMD was being "controlled" by EU law and is the reason why our politicians didn't bother to read the 1968 Duke of Northumberland Report into the 1967 FMD epidemic which had a "devastating affect - 430,000 animals were culled!!)
I hope this helps. I don't expect your confusion to have lifted because it has taken me over 12 months of research to get where I am today. Funnily I know there is no future in farming in this country but I still seem to want to hang in there!
PS There are numerous places on the Internet to read up on the facts.
One worth downloading is: http://www.silentmajority.co.uk/eurorealist/reports/wordfiles/BRITAIN%20&%20 The%20EU%20FULL%20PRESENTATION%20020315.doc
From: http://www.vegan.swinternet.co.uk/mainpages/articles_frame.html Free Trade Agreements such as GATT, NAFTA and APEC are promoted as 'good' things, showing close co-operation between the peoples of the world. In fact, 'free' trade serves to make all countries reliant on global consumerism dominated by the multinationals. With no tariff on imported goods there is no financial protection for home production, so Third World countries become dependent on imported goods. Land and people in the developing world are therefore open to exploitation by global companies, and industries in the developed countries can be undermined at will.
European Monetary Union The most obvious stepping stone to a global bank and currency is the move by the European Union towards a centralised bank and single currency. Despite the apparent debate, this has already been decided upon with the UK's supposed opt-out clause in the Maastricht Treaty being over-ruled by another.
Also in the Maastricht Treaty are details of the control of the European currency and the reserves of each member state by six members of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank who, through their eight years of guaranteed security of tenure, 'may not seek or take instructions from Community institutions...or any other body'.
Control of Food One of the more unbelievable examples of corporate exploitation of particularly the Third World is the systematic destruction of natural agricultural seeds, replacing them with patented genetically engineered ones. According to UN estimates, 75% of genetic diversity in agricultural crops has been lost this century and in England, 1500 'unapproved' seed varieties have been withdrawn. The situation now is that, instead of using native seed varieties, Third World countries must pay royalties to the multinational companies for genetically engineered seeds, which have been distributed and chemically produced by the same corporations, and which are useless in a Third World environment. As a result the same people control the actual food that we can eat - 90% of all food trade is in the hands of five multinationals: 50% are controlled by Unilever (whose chairman, Paul Rykens was at the heart of the formation of the Bilderberg Group) and Nestli alone.