FOR the PM and her government to lose the vote on the “deal” by an unprecedented majority demonstrates failures and inabilities across the spectrum too numerous to lay out here. But in the process of the last two years-plus supposedly spent on “negotiations”, the biggest failure has been the failure to liaise, engage and negotiate across the parliament, parties and devolved nations.

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If the current minority Tory government had wanted to work for the whole country, and not attempt to straddle the fractious Tory party, then some form of consensual working would have been at least attempted right from the start.

But no, this “bloody difficult woman” (Ken Clarke MP, 2016) went ahead her own way and it would seem that attempting to run down the clock, playing off one faction agin the other, resulting in no alternative that Parliament can agree on, will ensure her way is the only way.

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A dangerous strategy, not least for the general population across the UK. Whilst a no-deal, crashing-out Brexit could be avoided, her deal, her government, her party, is no friend of ours. I believe in the majority of Scottish voters, so if there is another UK General Election (doubtful, though one of the potential “next steps”) we would again return a majority of SNP MPs. Perhaps even an increase. But to what effect?

To continue to be ignored, derided, brayed at, reviled as “nationalists”, and to receive the stock response every time that “Scotland’s best future lies within the Union”?

What about that People’s Vote? If we vote the same way for a majority Remain, what difference would it bring about? Our future would (still) be dependent on the outcome of the majority of voters outwith Scotland. No matter any “promises” that might be made in the run-up to any vote, we know we cannot trust Westminster and the Unionist parties.

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No more, please! Do we believe the PM when she says she will reach out across the parties to take the country “forward”? Has she spoken to Ian Blackford? We read that the FM has written to May requesting a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (Plenary) along with her counterpart, the Welsh FM, though I doubt if this will achieve much, such is the UK’s record so far through this mechanism. With the overall record of the PM and Unionist parties to date, why should we trust them?

So, if there is to be another vote, either General Election or People’s Vote, it has to be the last before our own meaningful vote, our indyref2. I’ve been fortunate enough in the past to have had letters published here, and in one I declared my belief that so long as we are on the road to independence, we should send our MPs to London. Not least in an attempt to mitigate against the devastation that Westminster can and does wreck on us, but primarily to demonstrate through our majority voting that Scotland continues to be pro-indy.

I now wonder if that is still the case. If there is another General Election then continued voting for the SNP to represent us, and our belief in independence, should be inevitable. But why go through that just to achieve the same predictable outcomes, those which our MPs experience now?

Why not make it a manifesto declaration that the SNP will take part in a General Election, but they will not take their seats? Let’s see how much better we would be with those few Labour, LibDems and Tories speaking up and speaking for us?

Better still, why not declare that taking part, achieving a majority of SNP pro-indy MPs, is a clear vote for independence, and then let Westminster deny us our indyref2. Now that General Election and that vote truly would be a red letter day!

Selma Rahman