THIS week saw the long-awaited UK Government Brexit analysis. First it existed, then it didn’t. Then the Scottish Government were accused of scaremongering with their figures. Now we’ve seen the leaked figures and they’re worse than the Scottish Government’s. The analysis predicts that Scotland’s economy will grow nine per cent slower as a result of a hard Tory Brexit, a scenario which is looking increasingly likely. Even the least worst scenario, staying in the single market, is set to cause a 2.5 per cent reduction in growth. This will have a knock-on effect on jobs, investment and quality of life for everyone.

Scotland didn’t ask to be here. We’re at a hugely important time in our country’s history, and we need to decide what kind of country we want to be.

The SNP Government has tried, in earnest, to work productively to protect our economy from the worst excesses of Tory policy.

We’ve spent millions mitigating savage policies like the bedroom tax, fighting the appalling rape clause and making the case for a tailored Brexit deal for Scotland, keeping us in the single market.

We’ll always keep fighting for what is right for Scotland, but just imagine what could be done without the endless distraction of Tory economic illiteracy holding us back, enabled by a Labour opposition asleep at the wheel. If Scotland can be ignored on an issue as big as our membership of the EU, what hope is there for our future inside the UK?

We need the opportunity to build our own relationship with Europe and the world, to build the fairer, greener Scotland that we all want to see, and to become a true partnership of equals with our neighbours across the UK nations.

The most exciting part of independence for me is the opportunity to create a sustainable and inclusive economy which forges partnerships around the world. Scotland is an internationalist nation and we shouldn’t be held back by a little Britain mentality.

I’ve worked in countries all over the world. I’ve seen first-hand what nations the size of Scotland, but with far fewer natural resources and human talent than us, can do when they control all the levers of power.

That’s what led me to the Yes campaign in the first place. I know that Scotland has what it takes to be a successful independent nation. Countless natural resources, a tourism sector that’s worth millions, some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. Culture that’s revered all around the world. World-class engineering, technology and now a burgeoning space sector. Some of the very best universities in the world. A first-rate food and drink industry, with the finest whisky ever made. Music, filmmaking, computer games and the biggest arts festival in the world. From fisheries to financial services, Scotland’s economy has the potential to go from strength to strength. Independence is not only inevitable, it’s getting closer. Let’s work to make it a reality.