Well Pam, whilst the UK is indeed small in physical size compared to many other nations, I really don’t think it appropriate to use the word ‘insignificant’. The list of benefits brought to the world by British scientists, engineers, and inventors over the years is considerable, and the UK continues to be at the cutting edge of innovation and discovery in many fields today.
Not having alluded to either the days of Empire, nor to the question of whether the UK is a superpower or not in any of my writing on this discussion thread, I take comfort from your assertion that I am therefore not delusional.
I must admit to being rather confused by what I believe to be your description of the EU as “a large trade co-operative with bulk buying power”. To my knowledge the EU is not really in the habit of buying anything, save perhaps for the unnecessary transportation of its administration from Brussels to Strasbourg and back again each year.
By the way, to say that “the £ has plummeted to record levels” is factually incorrect. Yes the £ has fallen, but in January and March of 2009 it was down at a shade below €1.05 and €1.06 respectively. Exchange rates vary all the time, and often are cyclical in nature. Once things settle down it is highly likely that the £ will bounce back again. Just as with the weather, sometimes we need to exercise a little patience.