IF not now, then when?

That question must be going through the minds of at least 1.6 million Scots, after the unbelievable yet totally familiar humiliation of Scotland’s elected government and parliamentarians amid yesterday’s Brexit chaos.

READ MORE: Theresa May teeters on brink despite Cabinet support for EU deal

The morning was dominated by a stream of angry invective from Brexit-backing members of the Conservative Party in anticipation of the deal hatched by their own leader and EU negotiators. Prime Minister’s Questions was dominated by the PM’s usual brass neck and evasion, and all afternoon journalists were camped outside Number 10 watching members of the Cabinet file in. And then began the long wait for an official statement, which still hasn’t happened at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, leaks have abounded.

READ MORE: What’s going to happen? The Brexit scenarios for the weeks ahead

Gibraltar revealed it had a deal and was fairly happy after a meeting with Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan. A meeting Scotland did not get. The DUP were a lot less happy – its leader Arlene Foster said the deal left the UK handcuffed to the EU with Brussels holding the keys and Northern Ireland dependent on Dublin. But at least she knew what was being proposed. A courtesy Scotland was not afforded. The Welsh were also snubbed – but then they did vote for Brexit in 2016, though the tide’s been turning ever since. The BBC’s Europe editor Katya Adler pointed to La Repubblica’s verdict on the draft Brexit deal: “Lots of concessions by May to the EU.” Nice that the Italians were briefing their journalists – and of course the Irish also had prior knowledge of the Brexit plan as an EU member, with a total veto over the whole Brexit deal. Scotland’s 13 Conservative MPs, including David Mundell, met at lunchtime and wrote to the Prime Minister about the importance of the fishing industry to Scotland. This was apparently an unprecedented move for a Cabinet member like Fluffy (though not as unprecedented as actually resigning as promised over the imminent sale of Scottish fishing rights) – but at least the Scottish Conservatives knew what was being proposed. The Scottish Government – constitutionally responsible for fishing policy – did not.

Och well, to be fair, the PM did offer to call Nicola Sturgeon after the Cabinet meeting. That’s nice, isn’t it? Kinda like the way companies phone the failed candidates in a job interview a few days later to let them know someone else got the job.

The First Minister said the two leaders should speak ahead of the meeting so Scottish concerns about what’s emerging could be relayed to the Cabinet before a decision’s made. As if.

As if the Cabinet would give a nano-second’s thought to Scotland. Our clout ended the day we voted No.

The awkward truth is that all day yesterday, Brexit deals were being hatched and explained in private – roundly excluding the one nation that voted strongly to Remain in the EU.

Why are we waiting around? Westminster behaves as if Scotland does not exist. So what’s the point in Scotland’s political leaders politely continuing to request, demand and explain? No-one’s listening. No-one has ever been listening. Months and years of persuasive, well-crafted arguments by diligent SNP MPs have resulted in – what? More respect and recognition by Yes and Remain voters back home plus one spirited walkout. But what now?

Consider all that has happened at the hands of Theresa May’s Government since Brexit: the paltry 15-minute debate on Brexit’s impact on Scotland hogged by Tory MPs, the amendments sneakily introduced into the SNP-free House of Lords, the petty opposition to Holyrood’s Continuity Bill, the impending theft of devolved powers, the failure to acknowledge Nicola Sturgeon’s White Paper which suggested exactly the solution being applied to Northern Ireland now. Scots badly needed to see Westminster treat our nation with some respect over this crucial withdrawal agreement. That hasn’t happened.

What has happened is that Northern Ireland has a deal keeping it inside the single market. Arlene Foster may not be happy – and it remains to be seen if the deal will actually pass through Parliament – but voters in Northern Ireland have reason to think their needs and democratic wishes have been heard.

In stark contrast, Scotland got nothing. In fact, it’s been worse than nothing. As Nicola Sturgeon tweeted yesterday, “Theresa May’s deal takes Scotland out of the single market but leaves us competing for investment with Northern Ireland that is effectively still in”.

We always knew this day was coming – the question is, what will the SNP do about it?

With Labour, the SNP, DUP and other smaller parties almost certain to vote against any deal and a wobbly threat of rebellion from the 13 Scottish Tories, it’s hard to see how the deal can possibly pass through Parliament. The arithmetic just doesn’t stack up. But let’s suppose it does. Let’s suppose Tory MPs are persuaded the choice is Theresa May’s deal or a no-deal Brexit – or worse still a General Election. Will Scotland just bob along behind, protesting politely, arguing coherently and doing all the other reasonable things that have got us precisely nowhere?

Even if Theresa May’s deal gets through the Commons, it could be a Frankenstein deal – plenty of disjointed parts that don’t add up to a single convincing, workable trade and customs system.

The reason Brexit is coming unstuck is that there is no better economic deal than being a full EU member and there is no better way of retaining free trade plus some political sovereignty than entering the expensive halfway house occupied by Norway and Iceland. This option means accepting freedom of movement, European Court rulings and implementing every EU regulation without helping to write them. But Norway and Iceland don’t regard themselves as “vassal states”. They have a compromise that best suits their interests.

Such compromise is simply impossible to many Tories, because it means the EU “wins”, and because compromise is not in their vocabulary. Scotland needs away from that kind of doomed worldview yesterday.

Now, of course, most supporters of independence realise that our First Minister is ready to turn the other cheek a hundred times if it convinces swithering voters that she has been reasonable, tried to act like an adult, tried to be constructive right to the last and has even tried to save the rest of the UK from self-harming over Brexit.

Is the cavalry coming in the shape of the Article 50 court case that seeks to establish MPs have the power to halt the process? Mebbe’s aye, mebbe’s naw. The UK Government are appealing, even though that breaches constitutional law – as Joanna Cherry patiently tried to explain in the Commons – and leaves the UK Government trying to stop MPs taking back control. You couldn’t make it up.

So when does reasonable behaviour end?

Yesterday, one Yes campaigner tweeted: “How much more of this are we prepared to take? If I’m wasting my time knocking my pan in for a Yes vote, I’d really like to know.” Another tweeted: “Looks like @scotgov will see the deal when the EU release it, the lack of respect for Scotland is nothing short of scandalous. When the deal is rejected, we’ll be about ready for #indyref2

Let’s face it. 62% of voters in Scotland have been in a land beyond reason since the Brexit vote in 2016. How much longer do we turn up nicely, play by the rules and get carved out?

It’s time to ask.