"We didn't. Call-me-Dave found he was in a spot because of a stupid manifesto promise he decided he'd have to keep"
You're blowing smoke. Call-me-Dave tried to gain more influence and failed miserably. He pulled out all the stops and all he got was a worthless piece of paper. This is what "pushing for reform" means in practice - a kick in the nuts.
You are starting to sound a bit deluded: QMV replaced the veto for most things after Lisbon, so we can't really veto anything. I suppose you already know the EU doesn't actually have a free trade agreement with either the US or China? Switzerland does.