Nice to (virtually) meet you. Hope we meet at leisure at some point. Email is such an impersonal medium, whilst at the same time it is usually taken very personally. So I hope we can turn this into a political debate and not a personal mudslinging contest. And if my first foray into the thread seems like the latter, I apologise.
To discuss your point of Unions...
EU - formed to ensure trade was so integrated among its members that another disastrous European war would not be possible. The Benilux countries, West Germany and France had no choice in its formation. It was demanded by USA and to some extent the UK as a way of ensuring they'd get some of their money back this time. Since then "Beggar my neighbour" economics mean it's better in than out. A lesson the Westminster elite will be pouring out in the next year, for despite the Tories making the EU the bogeyman for the last 20 years, (they know) we'd be screwed if the vote is to leave permanently. It'd bring the UK and the whole EU economies to their knees.
NATO - formed to shield small countries under the nuclear wing of the USA for fear of take over by the Soviet expansion into Europe as it had with the Warsaw Pact. Papers from the era show that upon joining NATO, the Soviets instantly marked that country as a nuclear target as joining meant an American military presence on your soil. Since its formation, many original signatories have asked US bases to be removed and that only non nuclear ships visit their ports for this very reason.
USA - A country created in genocidal expansion into indigenous populations, through guerilla warfare gained Independence from the British Empire, several wars with same Empire and the Empire of Spain, then Mexico, then itself when seven Southern States tried to secede from this peaceful Union. Aggressive expansion west, causing a holocaust on the indigenous Indian people and land grabs at the expense of European settlers already there, to the point of mass murder to secure new state enrollment. Racism, slavery, global bullyboy tactics since 2nd world, Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, Iraq etc etc.
All the above unions, have federal or independent governments setting taxes, so not really relevant to the UK model really!
Democracy exists to exercise the will of its voters on the economics that democratic unit controls. The UK (a political construct), due to the size differential between the 4 (main) constituent countries, barely staved of a vote to leave the Union by one of the 3 smaller countries. It is believed (by men more capable that us) that democracy is better served in units small enough to directly affect agreed changes that benefit the lives of those within it, without leaving too many large (identifiable) sections of the population discontent that the changes made were against their representative choices.
With the Tories and New Labour (Tory Plan B) being the result of the last 35 years UK politics, Scottish left-of-centre politics have rebelled, sought and won the formation of the Scottish Parliament and evolved toward the 18th Sep vote. The closeness of which, and the resultant in fighting and Westminster politic, is unlikely to satisfy the voting masses (North and South of the border).
So here we go, lets debate -
Debate dilemma - Next year there will be a vote on EU membership. If the resultant vote is that the Welsh, Scots and Northern Irish populations vote to stay in the EU but the vastly larger English vote is for No, could we then ask England to leave the UK, leaving the rUK within the EU? Problem solved! Or do you agree that the Union should hold and we all leave together?