DETAILS, details, details. Who needs them? Not the UK Government it seems, if the last two and a half years are anything to go by.

Sajid Javid this week has declared that it is very unlikely that the white paper on immigration will be published before the meaningful vote on Brexit in Parliament next week, giving MPs no chance to look at the details behind the Government’s plans.

READ MORE: MSPs set to reject Theresa May’s draft Brexit agreement

Perhaps “plans” is too strong a word, hence the reticence to expose the absence of detail or substance within the white paper? Whispers in the corridors of power suggest that Javid had planned to publish it this week before a row with the PM made him change his mind.

By the time you read this column, someone may well have leaked it. Mind you, given some of the rhetoric on immigration from Javid, and indeed Theresa May with her celebration of the end of freedom of movement, not to mention her hostile environment policy and the continuing horror of the Windrush scandal, we already have a pretty good idea what it says and why she wants to keep it under wraps.

The PM’s apology at the behest of SNP MP Philippa Whitford last week, for her remark on EU citizens “jumping the queue” into the UK, suggests that May realises she has gone too far in stoking the anti-immigration agenda, with racism spreading like a virus through our society. But it’s more likely that the rumours that the document effectively admits that May’s immigration plan would be kicked into touch by an extended transitional period are true. If this meant it would be years before Brexit would actually happen the hardline Brexiteers would be spinning like tops.

Given that immigration has been used as the main topic to stir up anti-EU sentiment, not to mention given free reign to those with less than a tolerant attitude to people who look or sound different to them, it would seem important for the white paper to be in the public domain. You would think that for your MP to make an informed and proper decision on a pretty big question, they would need to have all the details to hand? Otherwise, the meaningful vote becomes rather meaningless without the specifics?

However, it would seem that specifics and details are few and far between in the UK’s Brexit-dominated political landscape. The same goes for the full legal advice on Brexit that the UK Government were doing their best to hide. Could it be that May tried to keep it secret because it really is the worst of possible worlds?

With Keir Starmer successfully moving yesterday that the Government ministers be held in contempt of Parliament after Geoffrey Cox’s RADA-rated performance in the House of Commons on Monday, we wait with baited breath to see today the detail of what the Government were trying to keep under wraps. For Theresa May’s administration it is all coming apart at the seams.

When trust is in short supply in the corridors of power, it makes it all the more important that people can draw on factual analysis, information and expert opinion before they come to their own personal conclusions. This helps people make up their own minds, so they can use their democratic mandate properly. Seems obvious, but worth pointing out amid the turmoil and dishonesty of the Brexit bourach.

A couple of years back the Cabinet’s second rate Machiavelli, Michael Gove, suggested that we’d all had enough of experts, telling us what we should think, say and do. Perhaps he had the foresight to think ahead to a time when his party and his government would need the people to ignore the experts, to doubt the truth, to swallow a big fat lie about taking back control.

Perhaps, Gove was trying to prepare us for not having any experts at all in the most important positions in the country. Not a week goes by without a Cabinet minister, or a member of the wider Tory party, coming out with some misinterpretation of history, some subjective analysis of another country’s political past or some giant geographical or social gaffe.

For instance, one would expect that a former Northern Irish secretary like Theresa Villiers would understand the important details in the border debate caused by Brexit. Yet, at the weekend, she continued to argue for a new Brexit deal without a backstop while trying to whitewash the reality of issues around a hard border in the North.

Current Northern Irish Secretary, Karen Bradley, isn’t much better in her readily admitted woefully poor understanding of underlying social tensions and history of the province she is supposed to be serving.

Liam Fox has failed spectacularly in his bid to gain fabulous trade deals for the UK post-Brexit as he boasted, while his American pals have cast him adrift somewhere in the mid-Atlantic (metaphorically of course). Meanwhile, Dominic Raab’s comments about Dover being nearer to Calais than he realised will haunt him until the end of his political career. That may not be all that long.

Back to Gove and his anti-expert agenda. He recently proclaimed his support for the PM’s Chequers deal while being resolutely against a People’s Vote because allowing people to make an informed decision a second time around on Brexit would undermine democracy. Well, that’s not exactly what he said, but that is what he means.

Why let the people vote with details to hand when you can prescribe them lies and deceit instead? Because with news of possible food and medicine shortages, scarcity of baby milk, roads blocked and air travel chaos, security issues, catastrophic financial warnings from the Bank of England, businesses moving abroad – the list goes on – people are taking this information and thinking they’d like to get another go at choosing their future, a future that is more substantial than a slogan on the side of a bright, red bus.

In Scotland of course, thanks to expert analysis from our devolved government in Holyrood and our MPs in London, plus a good dose of knowing where our bread is buttered, we’ve already exercised our democratic will and made our decision.

The already massive percentage for Remain has increased further in the intervening chaos. This hasn’t stopped the Whitehall establishment ignoring Scotland in the Brexit process every step of the way, dispatching the Secretary in a State, Fluffy Mundell, to spin their lines with his fingers crossed behind his back. But, since Brexit has so spectacularly exposed the democratic deficit and the inequalities that exist between the nations of the UK, we canny Scots know only too well, that when it comes to Westminster, the devil is in the detail.