IT is not a wise leader who leads people up a hill only, as time makes a fool of the hype and headlines, for them to experience the disappointment of slipping and slithering back down again, with nothing achieved.

There is not going to be an early second independence referendum, given the political and legal situation that confronts the SNP Government. The broader Yes movement should be more sensible and take time to reflect upon the new political and constitutional paradigm the Brexit vote created.

Severing of the UK’s institutional links with the European Union, and the new trade and political relations that will emerge, will produce very different facts on the ground in our own economic relations with the UK Union, and countries outside of the UK and EU.

They will be very different from those that determined the character of the Yes campaign of 2014. Until these new factors are fully understood, and studied, we should be careful about what we say, and do.

In the days before polling, the SNP warned of the adverse trade and job losses as a consequence for Scotland of Brexit, as though trade is only one way.

Little noticed on June 22, was the warning issued by BDI, the German federation of industry, to its government if Brexit happened. The message was no retaliation with tariff barriers.

“The BDI would urge politicians on both sides to come up with a trade regime that enables us to uphold and maintain the levels of trade we have.” Not surprising, with £290bn of EU exports to the UK at stake, and five million EU jobs dependent on access to the UK market.

As the BDI intervention makes clear, the pressures are for a free trade deal; an important new economic fact on the ground.

Since Alex Salmond swapped the name from Executive to Government, people have come to believe the latter title is real.

It isn’t a government in a real sense. It exists in a legal construct whose boundaries severely restrict what it can do, especially on the constitution, reserved as that is to Westminster in Schedule 5 of the 1998 Scotland Act.

Section 31 places Westminster guardians all around the Holyrood Parliament. There is the Advocate General, the Attorney General, Lord Advocate, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, not to mention the Presiding Officer who has a legal duty to reject a bill that is not within the competence of the Parliament. To break free of these legal constraints on the Scottish Parliament legislating for a second referendum, a powerful political force is required – a majority won in an election combined with a mandate sought from and given by the electorate.

Alex Salmond had both in 2011, and Westminster was finally forced to transfer limited power, temporarily, to allow the 2014 referendum. Today’s SNP Government did not win a majority, nor has it a mandate because it did not ask for one; due to fishing for No voters in the No-voting North East. No amount of posturing changes that political weakness of the 2016 election result.

Craving to re-enter the European Union, where there is hierarchy of economic rights in case law, that sees employers elevated well above those of the workers, and contemplating joining the euro, as Nicola has done, is folly of the first order.

For anyone arguing that Scotland is being taken out of the EU against its will, think of the question on the ballot paper. Scotland was not mentioned. To believe that those who voted Remain would vote for independence, is naïve.

Sturgeon vows to put stability of Scotland first as Brexit storm builds