APPARENTLY, Nigel Farage has claimed he never said Brexit would be “a success” for Britain.

This, from the mouth of the arch-manipulator of British politics, the man with the Ukip plan to “take back control”, the man who convinced so many people to fall for the lie that we’d be better off without Europe. Just so long as he could keep his EU pension once he was no longer a member of the parliament he so despises.

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While Farage is apparently disowning not just his political track record but his very raison d’etre, many other two-faced Brexiteers are making plans to jump ship when the truly horrendous chaos of Brexit hits our isles, described as Armageddon scenarios in last weekend’s papers.

Tory grandee and chairman of Vote Leave Nigel Lawson is moving to France, just in case. Decanting to a country still in the EU that is, where the supermarket shelves will stay stocked and medicine and fuel will be readily available without intervention from the armed forces. John Redwood, the arch-Eurosceptic MP, was already ahead of the game when he caused controversy last year by advising the wealthy to move their money out of the UK before the Brexit bourach comes to pass.

And you can bet your spats and pocket watch that Jacob Rees-Mogg has an ark or similar escape vessel, packed with essentials from Fortnum and Mason should it all go pear-shaped.

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This is what happens when all you’ve got is empty rhetoric and lies built on myth. This is what happens when you don’t have a plan and you just cross your fingers and toes in the hope that it all works out. Except we know now that it’s not going to work out, that it’s going to be an unmitigated disaster that the country will take decades to recover from, alone and adrift without a friend in the world. And it looks like this inconvenient truth is finally dawning on the leavers.

I have never subscribed to the “apocalypse now” scenario of Brexit. I have never supported the “Project Fear” view of George Osborne. Indeed even now it would still be possible to manage a form of Brexit with minimal economic damage, for example by way of EFTA-type membership of the European Economic Area.

However, that is not the policy of the UK Government where the “soft” Brexit instincts of the Prime Minister and Chancellor are hamstrung by the Brextremists now calling the shots in their party.

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The Conservative brand of wing-and-a-prayer politics is the polar opposite of project management and evidence-based planning.

Their lack of due diligence, their lack of competence to run the country and accountability reminds me of the financial crash of 2008. This crisis was brought on by a small, privileged group of bankers, building castles in the air with ordinary people’s life savings, pensions and mortgages, happy to sacrifice these tax-payers’ hard-earned cash while they squirrelled away their own ill-gotten gains and personal wealth in tax havens abroad. When the pound hit the fan and the inevitable crash happened, these so-called “talented” bankers disappeared without trace.

No-one was made accountable for the ruin their financial mishandling had brought, no-one was sacked, no-one was left to even apologise publicly for the chaos unleashed by their greedy games. These hedge fund managers were let off the hook because money talks, and influence talks even louder. A protected elite, playing God with our future, with no one to take them to task. Sound like anyone we know?

The very same thing will happen with Brexit. Come March 29, 2019, the arbiters of this chaos will be nowhere to be seen, holed up in some sunny clime, with a healthy bank balance in euros, a well-stocked wine cellar and plenty of fresh produce. Meanwhile, Britain will be a shadow of its former self, with Labour left wondering why they let the most incompetent government in British history off the hook. What a missed opportunity, what a waste, what a shambolic and irrelevant opposition.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, things could be quite different. We never voted to leave the EU and we still don’t want to leave even though our democratic wishes are being bulldozed by the UK Government. So, we’ve spent time researching the effect of Brexit on Scotland, published our findings and our recommendations so that the nation could be informed on our options, on the reality ahead. We’ve drawn up an EU Continuity Bill to protect our devolved settlement while also governing or “getting on with the day job” of making people’s lives better and fairer in our small country, despite austerity and despite Brexit.

No matter how much the metropolitan elite, such as David Dimbleby on last week’s Question Time from Perth, try to belittle the Growth Commission, we know it’s a darn good idea to publish a detailed and well-thought out document on our options in order to promote debate. The Growth Commission report is not the holy writ – it is the first word in the renewed independence debate, not the last.

However, does it not illustrate the difference between a Scotland planning for the future and the cavalier Brexiteers who took the country towards the cliff edge with a prospectus written on the back of a cigar packet and the side of a double decker bus!

Scotland is very much alive with discussion on forging our own path, cross-party and across Scottish society, with wonderful contributions from the erudite Lesley Riddoch, for instance, that will inform and enrich the debate.

That’s why I’m looking forward to the SNP conference this coming weekend. Now is the time to set our vision on the table for an independent Scotland. We need to own this vision, we need to own independence, we need to have the courage of our convictions, something the Nigel Farages and David Camerons of this world will never be capable of, and can never understand.

Don’t let anyone persuade you that Scotland doesn’t have options – she does.