BREXIT gets weirder and weirder. And you can rely on the bookies to put a price on it. A few days ago, Paddy Power opened a line on “what the British Government would officially ration first in 2019”. Fuel came top at 4/1, olive oil and bread at 16/1, chicken 66/1, prosecco 125/1.

Next in my twitstream (never better named) was a punter vox-popped by the BBC. Asked about retailers’ warnings of empty shelves after a no-deal Brexit, he suggested that, as far as he was concerned, “it would do the country good to go without for a little while. Make them appreciate what they’ve had”.

And finally, as my fingers searched for the “delete app” function, a tweeted note arrived from the Telegraph’s Charles Moore, pondering the coming shortage of green vegetables: “Perhaps it is time for a Brexit recipe book, like those comforting wartime rationing ones, full of bright ideas for dull things”.

Like the archive footage of Spitfires that irrupted into Sophie Raworth’s BBC News report on May’s next trip to Brussels, it would be easy to call this rationing-fever just one more example of Brexitmania.

Fintan O’Toole, the magus of the Irish Times, has splendidly annoyed the London commentariat by suggesting there is hysteria and trauma at the heart of Brexit. This keeps burping knobbly icons of the past into the present (Winston Churchill was also fully regurgitated this week). Romantic feelings about ration books might be the wackiest eruption yet.

But maybe not so wacky. The May Government consciously brandishes threats of no-deal system breakdown. It’s a negotiating tactic, deployed against both a febrile Parliament of MPs and disdainfully horrified Eurocrats

But there’s something a bit creepy here. These assertions of the emergency and exceptional powers of the British state – troops and curfews to deal with potential unrest, motorways requisitioned as lorry parks etc – seem to actually reinforce the sovereign aspirations of the Leaver tribes.

In a discussion about stockpiling on this week’s Question Time, a bluff fellow stated (to applause) that “in this country, we’re resilient, we’re gonna find a way round these problems ... We have companies and corporations who have figured out ways not to pay taxes in this country – are you telling me they’re not going to find a way to get a few lettuces from Spain to England?”

That’s the core Leaver mentality – a building English-national confidence, combined with a scepticism about the existing ruling classes. (These undoubtedly include corporate retail executives, who Yessers will ken from recent memory. A bawbee, anyone, for Johann Lamont brandishing “Higher Cost – No Thanks” posters, on an Asda forecourt in September 2014? Thought not.)

If I could snap a picture of May’s campaigning “grid” for the Brexit process, I would bet that rationing already occupies its own special box. What better expression of collective Brexitannic defiance against those implacable Eurocrats?

In the midst of a social media trawl, I found a snap from a Leaver which digs even deeper into this “ourselves alone” structure-of-feeling. From a display in the Imperial War Museum, she had posted a tray of 1918 ration books. It was surmounted by a diary quote from retired civil servant Charles Balston: “Rationing taught us to bear each other’s burdens and to share and share alike.”

It’s not hard to feel the potency of this Leaver story of resilience. And from what we know of May’s tendencies – endless shapeshifting, but with an underlying Home Office tendency to mild authoritarianism – rationing (suitably rebranded) might easily make more than a temporary comeback.

That is, you know, unless ... We are looking at all this from what still seems like a solid and majority bloc of Scottish Remainery. And the idea that true sovereignty might be opposed to smoothly operating, cross-border European supply chains seems, at the least, arguable.

The statistics of a no-deal are stark. Food academic Tim Lang told this paper last year that the UK “consumes about nine and half billion tonnes of fruit and vegetables every year – 8.1 billion of that comes from across the Channel ... Overall, 30% of Britain’s food supply comes directly from EU countries and a further 11% via deals done by the EU with other countries”.

“Is rationing possible?” Lang pondered. “Well, if we are cut off from 41% of our food that might be one of the things that has to be done.”

Notch that up again to the standard case for independence. Because even if Apocalypse Coupon is averted by a last-minute deal, who’s to say this won’t be in the policy tool box of a Brexited United Kingdom, as it staggers its unstable way into the future?

All this we know. But for a moment, step out of the bampot mix of self-harm, self-assertion and psy-ops that is Brexit.

Take a planetary and ecological perspective instead. From this standpoint, rationing could seem less like another example of post-imperial blues, and something we may need to seriously think through.

As last week’s column suggested, a “good food nation” might well look askance at the just-in-time distribution systems of our retail outlets. Is there more fragility, toxicity and dependence there, than strength and freshness? In terms of the carbon emitted to get it there, shouldn’t our blithe reaching for that box of mango slices be given a second thought anyway?

And to misquote the Question Time bloke: if corporate taxes can be elaborately and digitally avoided, then couldn’t algorithms help our individual carbon budgets become just as calculable and applicable?

A 10 to 12 year window was identified by the recent IPCC environmental report, whereby we might stop a chaotic and runaway global warming. We may need to embrace decisions which limit our precious consumer freedoms.

Carbon budgets may land in our lives as something more akin to a credit rating on a downloaded app. But if governmentally enforced and monitored, this would be, more or less, a rationing of resources. As ever, the question of how much you trust the regime that rations you is key. There would be something pretty disgusting about Tories – whose welfare and redistribution policies have driven millions into poverty, and thousands to their early deaths – stealing the clothes of eco-rationing.

Scotland may be different. As someone who oscillates between civic-nationalist and left-green politics, it’s a joy to me to see the agreements – and also the productive tensions – between the SNP and the Scottish Greens in government.

Agreeing national budgets is one thing. But a bigger discussion should also be possible – perhaps about what new consensus is required for Scottish society to move much faster to zero carbon levels.

“Rationing” might be the scarier of the names you could put to this. But we must start to take collective responsibility for what eco-economists call the “material throughput” of our lives.

A small, smart, focused and brand new independent nation, citizens turning towards each other to forge a better future, might be the best opportunity to test these responsibilities out.

We can only hope that our troubled brothers and sisters over the Border could compare, contrast and learn. Spitfires not required.