SO that’s us now just one year away from Brexit. Some said it would never happen, and some remain in denial – the Liberal Democrats for example, who are calling for a second referendum in December in the forlorn hope it would reverse the June 2016 vote.

Then there are the Labour dissidents, such as Owen Smith, sacked for flouting shadow cabinet discipline by calling for a second referendum. And don’t forget Tony Blair who, after a long and welcome period of silence, now pops up daily to tell us Brexit can be stopped.

It all looks like posturing to me. The LibDems, desperate to rebuild their shattered support base, are trying to bring their old voters back into the fold by keeping the party in the headlines with hollow promises to ensure the UK remains in Europe. And the unreconstructed New Labourites, who have never forgiven Jeremy Corbyn for running away with the ball, see Europe as weapon they can use to inflict damage on their upstart leader.

Expect more such posturing in the months to come. There is now an undeclared factional civil war raging within UK Labour, and no doubt plans are afoot to go for Corbyn’s jugular in the highly likely event that Brexit goes badly wrong.

But the juggernaut won’t be stopped now. Even if Teresa May harboured doubts, she would be thrown to the wolves if she tried to backtrack at this stage. So too would her DUP ally Arlene Foster.

A recent survey showed just 14 per cent of Conservative Party members would support a second referendum. Any retreat would rip the Tory Party apart and send Nigel Farage into a frenzy of messianic fervour as he projected himself as the man to save Britain from the twin evils of Brussels bureaucrats and eastern European migrants.

Yes, there a dozen Tory dissidents who embarrassed May in December by voting for parliament to have the final say. But there are plenty of Labour MPs whose constituents voted decisively for Brexit, or indeed resoundingly for Brexit, something Tony Blair doesn’t have to worry about as a former MP.

Corbyn won’t call for another referendum. It would be a forlorn gesture, and would seriously alienate the millions of older traditional Labour voters across the north of England who voted Leave.

The UK as a whole voted to Leave, and Westminster will not now slam on the brakes. Those who claim otherwise are grandstanding for their own cynical reasons.

Nicola Sturgeon, to her credit, has not joined in. She has tried to deal with the real world and focused on protecting devolution and safeguarding the interests of Scotland. In other words, she is concentrating on the day job. But that comes at a price, not least for the broad independence movement. The interminable negotiations are no doubt unavoidable at this stage. But the relentless emphasis on Brexit is dominating Scottish politics to the point of suffocation. And one serious side effect is that it has cast adrift from the independence movement hundreds of thousands of our natural allies, including people who voted Yes in 2014 and others who were on the cusp.

As soon as possible, the leadership of the independence movement – which realistically means the SNP – has to work to bring back into the fold those who have moved away since the Brexit vote. That might well be the difference between victory and defeat in the next independence referendum.

I made no bones about the fact I voted Remain and if I could turn the clock back I would do the same again. The Leave vote raised up that ugly undercurrent of xenophobia that’s never far from the surface in British society. Across every part of the UK, it has seriously deflected attention from poverty, inequality, low pay, disintegrating public services and the 1001 other things wrong with the 21st-century UK.

It has also, in my opinion, set back the cause of independence by creating this dense fog of confusion which makes it difficult to see a clear horizon. Without the distraction of Brexit, I’m convinced we could have shifted support to a clear Yes majority by now.

But we are where we are and we have to deal with that. I’d suggest one simple announcement from the SNP at some point in the near future could start to reunify people behind the independence cause.

A pledge that a newly independent Scotland would, as soon as possible, hold a three-option referendum on Scotland’s relationship with Europe, by single transferable vote, would go a long way. Those options could be to rejoin the EU as a full member; to sign up to the single market via the European Free Trade Association; or for Holyrood to take full control of the Scottish economy.

That would be a strong statement of intent that the people of Scotland would be involved from the outset in shaping the nation’s future, including its external relationships. And it would help rebuild some bridges with those who have for now deserted our cause. Some people will argue we’ve had an EU referendum, and Scotland voted to Remain. That’s a fair point. But the terms on offer in the future might be different.

Faced with the alternative of an off-the-leash, out-of-control UK, with the hard right wing in the driving seat, pledging to slash immigration to the bone, people like me chose Remain as the lesser of two evils.

Faced with a different choice – between, for example, an independent Scotland with a solid left-of-centre majority, and a right-wing pro-free-market EU that has demonstrated contempt for democracy in Catalonia – I might choose differently. That would partly depend on the prospect of a radical upsurge across Europe and the possibility of transforming the EU into a progressive social union.

Right now, that doesn’t look too realistic. As things stand, there are 358 right-wing MEPs and an assortment of 284 loosely on the left, with 89 liberal centrists holding the balance of power, along with 31 non-attached, which includes a few communists and a larger bunch of fascists. We’ll see what happens in the next European election in 2019. In the meantime, we need to do what we can to stop Brexit locking us into a dysfunctional UK state which long since ceased to be fit for purpose.