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I am not saying that trade agreements and bilateral partnerships constitute empire-building, my entire point is that the power balance from the imperial years has reverted, but this does not seem to enter into the equation when the arguments are made that the UK needs to withdraw from the EU to negotiate trade agreements bilaterally. As the Polish Foreign Minister keeps saying the value of the EU in this century is that it will enable a collection of small states in global terms to band together and form a powerful bloc that can negotiate on relative par with China, India, Brazil etc. On its own, the UK is not going to get its voice heard on global affairs, or have the clout to negotiate the trade deals it is said that are there for the taking.
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But from what I can read, Mr Cameron hopes that there will be a pro EU vote.
Just imagine the following scenario
A) Scotland secedes from the U.K.
B) England &Wales get out of the EU
C) Scotland stays a EU member
D) Wales secedes from the UK and becomes a EU member
E) Northern Ireland merges into a federalist Irish Confederation
F) England joins the Canadian Union. London becomes the new Capital of Canada
G) Greenland secedes from Denmark and joins Canada
H) The new Canada becomes a Republic
I) QEII emigrates with her folks to Jersey and continues business as the Grand Duchess of the "British Normandy" (Jersey and Guernsey united)
J) Buckingham Palace and Kensington Court Palace and Balmoral Palace are broken up', transferred to St. Helier and there built up again
K) Earl Cameron of Blackpool becomes the new state-president of the Federal Republic of Canada