I don't think you're really getting my argument. I used to be more pro-EU than I am now, but simple cost-benefit analysis tells me it's a bad idea. The fact is that in terms of downsides, you have:
- Excess (and unwanted/uncontrollable immigration).
- Undemocratic tendencies.
- Long term goals non-aligned with Britain's interests.
- Increasing and unwarranted political union.
- Direct cost of membership.
- Unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy.
On the upside, you have:
- Free trade.
My point is, we can get free trade without being in the EU. We have alternatives (which I have suggested above). Leaving the EU would harm our trade temporarily, but if we maintained free trade with Europe from within the EEC or the EFTA, or by individual treaty we would suffer no long term effects.
So if we negate the major positive of the EU (free trade) by saying we can keep it if we leave, what does a cost-benefit analysis suggest? That it's overwhelmingly bad. The British people don't WANT greater union and integration. They don't WANT mass immigration at a time of mass unemployment. They want a productive and cordial relationship with our European neighbours which does not sacrifice Britain's sovereignty or subordinate our interests and goals to those of others.
Economically, would we be better off as a member of the EU as well as of the EEC/EFTA? No, probably not by much. But even if it would be slightly to our detriment, the downsides would be outweighed by the benefits of leaving.
You make fantastic points in your post. The CBA is spot on, however, one benefit you forgot was perhaps a safety net.
Being a member of other organisations would be beneficial to us, however, I still feel that being a member of the EU would be even more beneficial, financially. However, what I failed to make clear in my previous posts is that it would also be a fantastic benefit, politically.
My immediate problem with us leaving the EU would be politically. Like it or not, countries are petty,extremely. It would certainly not international relations with European countries and would certainly count against us. Absolutely no doubt. The political benefits cannot be outweighed. It's alright saying well, we'll be a member of the WTO, but that wouldn't be enough. Us leaving the EU would sicken relations, that would count against us.