Thanks very much to you all for taking the time to answer my questions.
I'm starting to get somewhere now. USA Brokers Lightspeed and Speedtrader accept UK citizens. I already hold an IB account in the UK but the downside for me with this is that due to whatever european rules changed in 2018, europeans can no longer trade USA ETF's unless they meet the criteria as a professional. I will not have these issues with Lightspeed and Speedtrader.
Another option i am looking at is offshore brokers tradezero and CMEG. As these are offshore (bahamas and trinidad based) you do not have to meet the pattern day trader minimums of $25k and they offer 6x leverage on very small accounts.
I'm doing trials for all these but so far struggling with their charting platforms (I was always a keen eSginal user but none of these get close to the performance and functions of that so far).
For IG, i believe they charge you 0.5% currency conversion fee each way for usa trading which is prohibitively expensive for the trades i do. Also, I believe theres the option to hold the account in us$ but if you do this you get charged $15 each way.....again ridiculous when most of the american brokers are offering commission free trades now or 0.004 per share or $2.95 fixed for example.
My current IB account is via the UK tradestation which gives Realtick as part of it for free (albeit with slightly higher commissions via tradestation) but again am struggling with realtick, dont want to dedicate too much time to mastering it and instead just get up and running.
I'm having a walkthrough demonstration with tradestation tomorrow.
Maybe i just have to stop being a miser and pay up for eSignal and then choose the best broker for my trading.
I found bullishbears to be a great website just to bring some of the other brokers to my attention which i hadnt found on google amongst some other good info on chart programs etc
Thanks again guys, I'll keep you posted