One thing is, you clearly want honest answers.
Fair questions in what you say. I understand economics well enough to not have wool pulled over my eyes. Indeed I have far more education in that discipline than George Osborne who sometimes says thing off the cuff that those who brief him must wish to strangle him for. The public are lead a merry dance about the UK's contribution to the EU. It is so often put in a £s figure that is a breathtaking amount of money but very rarely in real terms as a proportion of the UK economy, there it becomes small change. Little is said in terms of what comes back in agricultural subsidies, etc. That is pure politicking and that is where people need exact and honest information.
I too am very critical of France and Germany pulling far too many strings. I sincerely hope Merkel loses the election in September and that an incoming one will drop the austerity approach which is the string being used to manipulate other countries. France is showing signs of turning but Hollande is vague and without the apparent dander to stand up and say what he has so far whispered out loud. His government are no better than the one before though, so the less said the better. The UK has had two referenda. I was there to vote in one, working abroad for the other, but they brought the UK to the table to sign treaties and from then on in 'our' politicians could have taken a more central role. However, the treaties are binding agreements. Thatcher and Blair between them blocked that, even though the latter is playing the great European right now, it cost the UK a lot of influence. If the UK somehow gets to the referendum and leaves the EU it is, as many people are telling Westminster, a one way ticket. I doubt my 'countrymen and women' will choose independence next year but leaving the EU would almost certainly bring that about as Scotland seeks to retain oil and gas revenues and make its own trading agreements to begin with. It is one of the core arguments of Scottish Nationalists and the one issue that would have Labour and Lib Dems in Scotland joining forces and demanding a new referendum. Again, not out of my head but already foreseen by people in the know both sides of the border. The point there is that, alone England and Wales would be isolated in Europe and what China, the USA and other powerful influences are saying is do not go there. I hope common sense prevails and consigns this issue to history.