No... The UK joined the EFTA in the late 50s with the other western European non-EEC nations but this was just not successful. When we joined the EEC in 1973, we agreed in treaty to mutual co-operation on everything from environment to trade. The UK actually negotiated into the treaty that the EEC would have its own independent financial budgets rather than be funded directly from the member states as before, this was so that the French and German control was at least put at arms length; you could actually say that the UK was the driver towards the EU being the independent beast it is today! Also, that treaty was the fore-runner to us creating a directly elected EU Parliament, again a UK driven idea aimed at de-powering the French and German hold on the EEC.
One of my specialist modules at university was EC Law where we covered the history, treaties, constitutional changes and so on of the ECSC to EEC to EU. A fascinating subject but it didn't half open my eyes to the unwieldy size of the beast.
Edit: Also, you have to be aware that every change to the treaty has come from a UK representative signing that change into power. We also signed into power the removal of the absolute veto for many things. It's not all the doing of those continental Europeans... no-one forced us to sign those treaties, we were under no duress at all.
Translation Tony Blair signed for most of them so he could get a high paid job with the EU , the rest of us have to suffer the consequences
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