ACCORDING to Theresa May, our best days “lie ahead of us”, an overused line from the script of just about every aspirant US presidential hopeful for the last two decades.

And not perhaps the words her chancellor, Philip Hammond, might use to describe the future of the UK outwith the EU. The International Monetary Fund has warned this week of the devastation awaiting the UK’s economy in a no-deal scenario, with Hammond suggesting it would reverse the country’s recovery from the 2008 economic crash. Hardly the “best days ahead” mantra. All that austerity for nothing and a whole lot more to come until all but the super rich are on their knees and all because Boris, Nigel and Jacob want to sing an extra chorus of Rule Britannia.

But that’s not stopping May from banging on about what’s best for Britain and pronouncing that there are only two choices left on Brexit – if Chequers doesn’t work then it’s got to be no deal – it’s her way or the highway.

Cue all the Tory factions wheeled out in the media to justify and undermine. In an interview this past weekend, former Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, spoke out against the “elite establishment” in the UK whose campaign for a second vote was “undemocratic”. Quite how she kept a straight face when she uttered the words “elite establishment” is beyond me. After all, Ms Villiers, a descendant of the ancient and eminent aristocratic Villiers family with their 900-year-old name, surely has some close up and personal working knowledge of elitism? Let us just say that certain ministers do not have their feet on the ground let alone the best interests of the country at heart.

Nor are the Brexiteers well informed. Sir Bernard Jenkin made a complete fool of himself when he suggested that the UK car maker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), was scaremongering about a hard Brexit, saying that their chief executive was making it up when he worried over the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in the car sector and their factories grinding to a halt. Just hours later, JLR announced that around 2000 staff would be working three-day weeks with the resultant pay-cut in an attempt to weather the Brexit storm.

Sir Jenkin was left suitably red-faced. It was left to the reborn “Chequers Man” Michael Gove to deliver the killer blow from the opposite side of the Tory divide. Watching him suggest we have “generosity of spirit” towards the right-wing, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, on The Andrew Marr Show last Sunday, I nearly choked on my morning cuppa. He was responding to questioning about the abhorrent actions of his fellow Conservative MEPs in voting to protect Orban from EU scrutiny. His argument was that being critical of the Hungarian PM would prevent the UK from getting the best Brexit deal. In other words, who cares about human rights issues or racism, as long as we get out of the EU, we’ll back whoever will help us.

Gove charged on regardless to imply that, while the Chequers deal was the best one at the moment, once the country could see the benefits of being out of the EU, then the deal could still be changed in the future if a new PM was on board. I wonder who he could be thinking of in that future role? I’m not sure what sort of benefits he means, no amount of spitfire displays in the skies around Britain are going to make up for food and medicine shortages and economic depression.

I’m wondering if anyone is left who actually believes this nonsense and self-obsession? Not that many in Scotland if recent polls are anything to go by. From a country that voted to Remain, we’re well aware of the damage that this UK Government’s version of Brexit will unleash on Scotland, whether it’s a fudged Chequers plan or a no deal. This week we’ve also discovered that the UK Government is working with the EU to ensure that if, and it’s still a big if, Northern Ireland stays in the single market and the customs union to avoid a hard border, the same courtesy will not be applied to Scotland. Few, if any of us will be surprised by this. It’s been nothing but contempt for Scotland from the get-go on Brexit. And remember, we are still awaiting the result of the Supreme Court challenge.

But they can’t be too sure that they’ll get away with yet more bullying of Scotland if the latest smearing think tank report on the supposed cost of independence is anything to go by. Wild percentages, doomsday predictions and much finger wagging from Unionist business figures is a sure-fire indication that they’re rattled by rising confidence in Scotland and increased support for independence. I’m sure the poll of 64% of Scots wanting immigration to be devolved has put the frighteners on them too. Nigel Farage may be allowed to spin his malign web about migration, but the Scots aren’t buying it. We know we need a positive migration policy to support our future growth. For many Scots, migrants are not the enemy, they bring benefits to our multi-cultural society, a fact backed up by significant research studies. This is the antithesis of the Tory’s hostile environment and shows just how much we want to do it our way, not their way, because everything we stand for is the polar opposite of the policies that spew out of Tory HQ.

Whatever happens now, deal or no deal, Scotland doesn’t want to be governed by these people. We don’t think they are fit for office, we don’t think they have anyone other than their own selfish interests at heart. And they certainly don’t care about Scotland. In the coming months and one way or another, there will be opportunities to show this dissent at the ballot box. Let’s not waste this last best hope for Scotland.