“MAY you live in interesting times” is an ancient Chinese curse and what interesting times we are living in.

The choice offered in the 2016 EU referendum was an opportunity for the British people to have their say on the biggest issue in generations and made the decisive decision to leave the European Union.

Since then, parts of the political class has been coming to terms with how the British people’s decision should be implemented while the vested interests have been doing everything that they can to prevent the people’s democratic decision from being implemented.

Some want Parliament to confuse the process to give an opportunity for politicians to impose another referendum and others want to deliver a deal that is so watered down that, other than dumping our MEPs, there will be no change.

When the Prime Minister said: “Brexit means Brexit” I always thought this meant taking back control of our money, laws, borders and trade.

However the proposals outlined both in Chequer’s and now in the new withdrawal deal are a long way from that vision.

Whether you like the proposed deal or not, its current price tag is £39 billion of tax payers money that could go to our schools and hospitals.

When Canada or South Korea negotiated their trade deals with the EU they got them for free, despite their economics being much more divergent than ours, yet we are still being charged £39 billion for our post-Brexit relationship.

The EU is also taking advantage of our goodwill despite their member states all too often reneging on their own commitments.

Germany’s NATO membership for example, requires a two per cent GDP minimum contribution on defence and their international foreign aid target requires 0.7 per cent GPD.

However, they only spend 1.2 per cent GDP on defence and 0.41 per cent GDP on foreign aid, leaving Germany with billions of euros to spend on the priorities of the German people.

Many other countries fail to live up to their promises but Britain has always delivered on hers.

The EU needs the £39 billion of your hard-earned money it is demanding because it will not borrow the money, the voters in richer countries will not want to pay more and the poorer countries would be furious about having expensive projects cut.

We successfully trade with the USA on WTO rules so this should be a good starting point for our future trading relationship.

Canada recently agreed a better trading relationship with the EU so why shouldn’t we have one just as good.

If we are to pay £39 billion, then surely, we ought to expect a far far better deal than the Canadians and we still have time to get it.