HANDS up everybody who enjoyed themselves at the March in Edinburgh on Saturday? Yeah, it was a great experience. Hands up everybody who’s heard of Bob Rogers, otherwise known as Robert James Rogers, Baron Lisvane, of Blakemere in the Country of Herefordshire and of Lisvane, an affluent community in the north of Cardiff?

Well he’s going to be a busy Bob in the next couple of months having introduced the Act of Union Bill, the core purpose of which is: “to provide a strong and effective union between the peoples of the constituent nations and parts.”

The project by the Constitution Reform Group, with Sir Menzies Campbell as the token jock, has been in gestation for three years now driven by their belief that: “The case is a very urgent one, and the Bill as it has been drafted reflects the view that the UK needs a new constitutional settlement if the Union is to be preserved and strengthened. This is particularly important as the UK embarks on a new chapter of its history as it departs the EU in March 2019.”

For that read an effective fig leaf for the Henry VIII powers and other ministerial diktats coming our way. Now why, you might wonder, introduce this into the upper house first? Well the starter for 10 is that there’s no SNP representation in that place and with a CV like Bob’s, having spent a lifetime developing his skills as clerk to all sorts of Westminster committees and elevated to the peerage by David Cameron, he’s obviously a very accomplished operator in the ways and means of Wastemonster.

Check out the CV on Wikipedia as it’s too long to replicate here. But surely we’ve nothing to fear given we had an unopposed Declaration of Scottish Sovereignty in our Claim of Right in the Commons only in July? Well if you believe that I’m afraid you’re guilty of naivety on a grand scale. That’s why our real government must stand up now and say unequivocally:”not in our name”.

Some have already discounted this Bill as a serious threat but an English Brexit needs our oil and gas, our food production, our water and the all important garage for their nukes not because it’s the antidote to novichock but the essential ticket for a seat on the UN Security Council. If there’s no agreement on Brexit reached by the end of the year then the next key date is January 21 for more fudging, and that’s why I disagree fundamentally with the First Minister when she said on the Andrew Marr show “that the future EU/UK relationship is the context that would decide that question of independence”.

For me the context for an independent Scotland is the sheer perfidy of the English Parliament in its treatment of Scotland in the whole Brexit farrago and laying bare the hopelessness of Scotland in this British Union. How much more supplication will the FM ask us to endure?

In 16 weeks’ time on January 29, the Cabinet Secretary for Brexit will have to lay before the English Parliament a technical process involving the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. This will constitute an international treaty which, amongst other things, will kick-start the Minister of State for Rationing or Food Security earning his keep and far more importantly, end our membership of the EU at 11pm on March 29 2019.

After that time the transformation of Scotland into North Britain will commence, our EU rights will be extinguished and Viceroy Mundell has his government-in-waiting already assembled. This threat is real because “we’re not a partner in the United Kingdom were a part of it”, and that’s why it’s vital the Scottish Government demonstrates they too have a skilled operator to match Union Bob. The SNP have become shy about talking independence but this must provide a serious opportunity for them to get on the front foot.

A postscript to say thank you to the AUOB team for all their hard work in making Edinburgh and the other marches such a success.

Iain Bruce