WHETHER you voted for Brexit or not, one thing has been made very clear from the whole Brexit shambles that has unfolded: Scotland is not getting the equal partnership inside the UK we were promised by Westminster when they were begging us to stay.

Brexit is being imposed on Scotland despite a 62% Remain vote. Westminster has broken the Sewell Convention and has passed legislation to strip Scotland of some devolved powers – without Holyrood’s consent. So much for the “strong Scottish Parliament” we were promised in 2014. The Scottish Parliament has been completely excluded from negotiations.

The Scottish Government’s compromise proposal – continued single market membership for either Scotland or the whole UK – wasn’t just rejected, the Scottish Government weren’t even given the courtesy of a formal reply to their proposals.

Westminster awarded a grand total of 15 minutes’ parliamentary time for debate on the Brexit Bill’s impact on Scotland – and the whole time was taken up by the ramblings of a Tory MP for an English constituency. When most of Scotland’s MP’s walked out in protest at this, they were jeered at. Even the supposedly impartial Speaker of the house laughed at Scotland’s elected representatives.

Four years ago, when Westminster politicians were begging us to stay in “the UK family of nations”, they promised us we would be respected, equal, and valued partners. The past two years have completely destroyed that illusion. When something important with massive implications for Scotland comes along, Westminster ditches its promises, if it can even remember making them in the first place.

And when Scotland’s representatives complain, protest or just try to be included in discussions they are either ignored, dismissed out of hand, or quite openly laughed at. Westminster treats doormats with greater respect than it treats Scotland. At least it doesn’t make false promises to doormats.

“But what can we do about it? We already voted against indy in 2014?”

There’s plenty we can do about it. That was a vote on whether Scotland wanted to be independent or a supposedly equal partner in a UK that was part of the EU. The narrow result of that vote four years ago has about as much relevance now as Germany winning the World Cup four years ago. It’s old news.

The public can put pressure on the Scottish Parliament to hold another vote on independence. The Scottish Parliament doesn’t need Westminster’s permission to do this. And following a Yes to independence, Scotland can start making its own choices – such as getting rid of Trident, rejecting Westminster’s sadistic welfare policies, and using Scotland’s vast natural resources, and wealth of talent, to wage war on poverty and inequality.

We can choose our own future relationship with Europe, one that suits our needs, not the career needs of squabbling Tory politicians at Westminster. And we can be governed by politicians who wouldn’t dare laugh at us – because they know we can sack them.

So while the Tories are busy fighting with each other over how to rearrange the deckchairs on HMS Brexit Britain, it’s time for Scotland to get into the indy lifeboat and chart our own course. YOU can help make that happen, regardless of whether you voted Yes or No in 2014, regardless of whether you voted Leave or Remain in 2016. If you want to see Scotland chart its own independent course, guided by the needs and aspirations of all its people, rather than by the greed and vanity of a wealthy few, get involved with Radical Independence Angus and Mearns! Find us on Facebook or email RIAngusMearns@outlook.com

Angus Coull