People who voted in the referendum tell me that it was made clear at the time that it wasn't just a trade agreement, it was a larger project.
What referendum and what agreement?
The beginning of the European Union as we know it today was the Maastricht Treaty in 1991.
The last referendum on major European integration in the UK was held in 1975, and it was about membership of the European Economic Community, which was explicitly about trade -- in fact, it was widely known as the Common Market.
This went as far as some provisions for freedom of movement, but was long before the kind of centralised government and economic integration we see with today's European Union.
For those keeping score at home, yes, that means no-one under the age of 57 in the UK has ever voted in a referendum on European integration at all.
If it is working well why quit?
Because the EU today doesn't just have the useful trade agreements, but also a lot of other baggage.
That isn't correct. Such free trade agreements only work if both countries are on an equal footing, otherwise there will be conditions to keep things fair.
An interesting perspective, considering how unequal the footing is between different EU member states today, and how much this is responsible for many of the serious problems facing Europe recently.
Note also that when people say the UK wants to develop relationships with other global trading partners, what they mean is that they want to reduce conditions and wages for employees to the same levels as those economies.
Now you're just making things up and fear-mongering again.
For example, one of the widely reported pre-leaving business comments recently was from some of the senior executives at JCB, which is a large organisation that makes engineering vehicles and the like. They made a reasonable point that there is relatively little demand for such vehicles within Europe under the current economic conditions, while there is a great deal of demand and even more potential in rising global economies like China, to which the vehicles can be exported in large numbers. Limiting potentially beneficial trade agreements with those developing economies for the sake of keeping the EU happy simply isn't in the interests of a business like that, and in turn of that sector of the UK economy. This has nothing to do with the kind of exploitation of the workforce you're alleging.
The numbers are what they are. The UK has a healthy balance in trade with most of the more economically advanced EU member states, but overall it is the non-UK side that tends to export slightly more at the moment, so they have more to lose if the bureaucrats throw their toys out of the pram instead of dealing with any UK exit like adults.
And there is no particular reason to assume the trade rules would change dramatically in any new agreements anyway. As I said before, the trade agreements are one of the areas where everyone saw common ground long before the EU was around, and they are one of the areas where there is still a lot of common ground today. You're just fear-mongering, again.