THIS week there have been mutterings and grumblings from Brexiteers that the Good Friday Agreement isn’t fit for purpose. How dare peace in Northern Ireland and the requirement of the Good Friday Agreement – that there must be an invisible border on the island of Ireland – get between Boris and Jacob and their Anglocentric Brexit fantasyland!

The agreement isn’t just an internal agreement between Northern Irish political parties, it’s also an international treaty between the UK and an Irish state which has the backing of the other 26 EU member countries. Brexiteers would like to rip up an international treaty which guarantees peace in Ireland because it hinders them in their pursuit of an unrealistic dream which will cause huge damage to the economy of the UK.

They want to unilaterally renege on the treaty with Ireland in order to chase the chimera of trade deals with countries outside the EU, never pausing to ask themselves what other countries will think of a state which unilaterally rips up treaties that it decides it no longer likes.

Why should the EU trust the UK to stick to the terms of an exit deal if it can’t be trusted to respect its treaty with Ireland? Why should Australia or China or Brazil trust the UK to keep to the terms of a future trade treaty if the UK demonstrates that it’s not prepared to respect the treaties that it already has in place? They’ll just say to themselves – they don’t call it perfidious Albion for nothing – and impose even tougher and more onerous conditions on the UK and insist on stronger penalties for defaulting.

The Good Friday Agreement is more than just an international treaty. It was approved in referendums in 1998 in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. 71 per cent of voters in Northern Ireland approved it, and 94 per cent in the Irish Republic – considerably larger majorities than Brexit achieved. Brexiteers want to rip it up because of the will of 52 per cent of the people in the EU referendum, because clearly some people’s democratic will counts for a lot more than others. The fact that Brexiteers are prepared to risk the peace in Northern Ireland illustrates their moral bankruptcy, and proves that their talk of respecting the will of the people is nothing more than self-serving cant.

Meanwhile here in Scotland the latest round of talks about the EU Exit Bill between the Scottish Government and the UK Government have got nowhere. The UK Government is still refusing to allow Scotland any meaningful input into the Brexit negotiations, and is still preparing to use Brexit as an excuse to overturn the devolution settlement that was approved by the people of Scotland in the referendum of 1997.

That would be the settlement which the winning side promised to strengthen and improve after the referendum of 2014. There’s a definite theme here of some referendums being more worthy of respect than others. The Scottish Government will now pursue its own EU Continuity Bill, and a constitutional crisis is looming.

The truth is that Brexiteers put their fetish of a hard Brexit above peace in Northern Ireland, and above the unity of the UK. They are happy to see Scotland becoming independent, and don’t care if violence erupts again in Northern Ireland if that means that they can have their fantasy of a hard Brexit. According to the most recent Future of England survey, carried out jointly by the Universities of Edinburgh and Cardiff last year, 88 per cent of Leave voters in England were prepared to accept a Yes vote in another independence referendum in Scotland, and 81 per cent would accept risking the Irish peace process, in order to pursue Brexit.

Those figures rise to 92 per cent and 87 per cent respectively for Conservative Leave voters. Meanwhile 78 per cent of Labour leave voters in England are prepared to accept Scottish independence, while 67 per cent are willing to endanger the Irish peace process in order to pursue Brexit. Those are crushing majorities and a stark illustration of just how little Leave voters in England value the interests of the other nations of the UK.

Remember they told us in 2014 that if Scotland voted to stay a part of the UK that Scotland would be leaders within the family of nations of Britain? How they told us they loved us and valued us, that Britain wouldn’t be the same without us?

The harsh reality for people in Scotland who voted No in 2014 is that Brexiteers in England, who now dominate and drive the British government, think so little about Scotland’s concerns and needs that they would prefer us to be independent if Scotland’s interests get in the way of their fantasy of a freebooting Britain making favourable trade deals with Burkina Faso. They’re not going to fight too hard to keep us if we decide to vote again on our own future. I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer Scotland to be governed by people who actually care about it, and it’s increasingly clear that can only happen with independence.