WITH the UK Government stuck in a perpetual state of disarray and crisis management, it is no surprise it has been forced to take a short-term approach to all aspects of the Brexit negotiations and day-to-day governance.

Each week sees the government forced to respond to critics, from business leaders, to the Bank of England and even from within their own ranks, through the poisoned pen of Boris Johnson. Theresa May is a short-term Prime Minister making short-term plans. Even her more generous colleagues accept that she will likely be booted out of office no later than exit day from the EU in March next year.

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Survival mode isn’t an environment conducive to making good strategic decisions. With the government focused solely on hobbling through each week, they are failing to recognise the impact of their approach on battles they’ve still to fight.

Take a second independence referendum, for example. This week, David Mundell rejected calls from the SNP for powers to hold indyref2 to be given to Holyrood. He said that while the devolution settlement gave Nicola Sturgeon the “right” to call for another vote, “it also gave us the right to say no”.

David Mundell admits 'chaotic Brexit' will help make the case for independence

Such disrespect would be unpalatable in any circumstances, but for it to come from the party who are currently marching us cheerfully towards medicine and food shortages under the guise of “greater sovereignty” it is breathtaking.

This is the party that has used the slogan “taking back control over our money, our laws and our borders” as justification for the UK Government embarking on the most destructive version of Brexit. We haven’t even been told what EU rules and regulations we’re going to ditch once we are finally “free” of our EU membership.

Where are the detailed plans to bring back high-wattage vacuum cleaners and bendy (or was it not-bendy? Who knows, and frankly, who cares?) bananas?

The UK Government is wilfully leading Britain towards isolation and political instability, for a vague concept of “sovereignty” that they can’t meaningfully explain or make plans to utilise.

Meanwhile, we have Scotland, which voted decisively for Remain, with nuclear weapons on our doorstep and a parliament forced to introduce legislation to mitigate the damaging policies of the same UK Government that tells us to shhh about independence, because they’re so busy “taking back control”.

The National:

Hell mend them. The arguments the Tories are putting forward to maintain power will be the ones used against them when the time comes for Scotland to vote again on independence.

Next time, I hope the Yes side takes a more offensive position, rather than being on the back foot in reacting to the mud-slinging by the UK Government.

We’ll ask: Why is UK sovereignty so essential but Scotland’s is foolhardy?

It’s easy to imagine the Tories – with 200 days to go until EU exit day and still without an agreed plan in place – telling Scotland that, uniquely, independence would be too difficult for us to implement.

But those arguments will ring hollow with voters. When the Tories insist that Scotland is a valued part of the UK, people will stop listening mid-sentence.

When the LibDems tie themselves in knots trying to explain why a people’s vote on Brexit is warranted but indyref2 is a democratic outrage, voters will rightly be sceptical of their logic.

The shambolic Brexit negotiations will work as a blueprint for how Scotland will do things differently. It won’t be easy – and no responsible politician should claim it will be, as the charlatans in the Conservative party have since the EU vote.

The National:

The Yes side’s greatest strength is one that UK Brexiteers never had: a clear argument for breaking away from a union.

Theresa May has continued to confound commentators by surviving crisis after crisis. With her inevitable demise fast approaching, you must wonder why she hasn’t felt compelled to use the little time she has left to change how her premiership will be judged in years to come. Her dubious conversion to becoming an evangelical Brexiteer has fooled no-one.

She’s dancing to their tune, yet they’re still plotting how to ban her from the disco.

The path to the eventual break-up of the UK was started by David Cameron but it will be secured by May, through her short-sighted and short-term approach to Brexit. She’s so frightened of the macho misfits in her party that she is willing to do anything to keep them on side – despite knowing that they view her as a useful idiot and will offer no loyalty in return for her sycophancy.

Scotland has been ignored throughout the Brexit negotiations, but when the time comes, the UK Government may find itself wishing it had listened.