I MOVED to Scotland from Denmark 17 years ago to work in publishing, and for the last 10 years I’ve been doing dictionary consulting together with my wife, spending a lot of my time working on Scots.

I’ve also been writing a pro-independence blog called Arc of Prosperity for the last seven years – I started it when it became clear an independence referendum was going to happen. Alas, we’re now leaving the country due to Brexit.

As an EU citizen, I felt completely devastated when Leave won the Brexit referendum, but it was a ray of sunshine when Nicola Sturgeon found the right response the morning after, reassuring us and talking about a new independence referendum as a way to keep us in the EU.

Sadly, however, when Theresa May – less than a year later – declared that “now is not the time”, Nicola Sturgeon seemed to lose her mojo, and in the subsequent General Election, the SNP adopted a cautious and defensive strategy that caused the loss of many MPs. And we’re still waiting for her to tell us what the plan is for a new indyref.

READ MORE: EU rejects UK attempt to force concessions on backstop

The best time for an independence referendum was no later than September 2018, because Scotland after a Yes vote wouldn’t then have needed to Brexit together with the rUK. We’ve missed that boat, however, and it’s now looking likely that Scotland will be dragged out of the EU, suffering disproportionately in the process.

I really believe independence will be good for Scotland. I also abhor Brexit, but I thought it would provide Scotland with a second chance to gain independence. Surprisingly, the SNP hasn’t managed to get anything out of it: Scotland will be dragged out of the EU, the Tories are clawing back powers, and a precedent has apparently now been set that Scotland won’t proceed with an independence referendum unless Westminster grants a Section 30 order. It’s a complete clusterbourach.

I’ve never considered it likely the UK Home Office would frog-march all of us EU citizens out of the country the day after Brexit, but they would just love to extend their hostile environment to us, making it difficult to rent property, get a job or access the health service.

Without independence, Nicola Sturgeon’s sweet words saying that “Scotland is your home, we want you to stay” are just that: words. To protect new Scots, Scotland needs independence, and it’s not happening soon enough. If Sturgeon doesn’t feel she can help us, she should say so instead of wringing her hands helplessly – it’s infuriating.

So we’re now moving our family to Funen in Denmark.

We don’t feel confident our company can survive the recession caused by Brexit, and I’ve found a nice job there. If we were remaining in Scotland, however, I’d be getting very close to tearing up my SNP membership card and joining the Greens instead.

After so many years in Scotland, I’ll always feel Scottish. I’ll always support Scottish independence, and we’ll be back for the independence marches.

But we won’t expose ourselves to Brexit Britain, complete with chlorinated chickens, a privatised health service, rising university fees, getting hounded by the Home Office, and potentially no prospects of an independence referendum for decades. It’s devastating, but remaining here is not an option.

READ MORE: Mhairi Black: It's delusional to say there is no mandate to hold indyref2

It feels good to regain control of our lives

I’M a 51-year-old Scottish mum of five and over the next few weeks I will be closing down the company I have run for 10 years, ripping my family in two and leaving Scotland, perhaps forever.

I like to work through the complexities of life, both political and general, on Phyl’s Blog, and since the Brexit vote back in 2016, it’s been one of the few things keeping me relatively sane.

When the UK voted Leave, I wasn’t as horrified as I should have been. That isn’t because I was lukewarm to EU membership, but because I’m so European, I think of the EU as “us” and the UK (other than Scotland) as “them”. My initial assumption was that the UK would hang about the periphery Norway-style, sulking for a few years while “we” got on with business without “them” sticking their oar in!

I didn’t think it would have much of a negative impact on my family ... then came May’s red-line speech declaring that we’d voted to leave the customs union and the single market and ditch free movement. I certainly didn’t see that on my ballot paper!

Within hours she’d scathingly branded my family “citizens of nowhere”. I loved that all of my kids could fluently speak two languages and were a mix of several cultures. Suddenly the Prime Minister was telling me the way I had lived my life was no longer tolerable. I feared one day, instead of teaching their classmates Danish, my kids would have to hide their foreignness and drop their surname from their CV to get an interview.

The Government was openly hostile to protecting EU families like ours. We became pawns in their grotesque game.

Then there was the financial aspect. Thomas works as an dictionary consultant, so his work would dry up immediately in a recession. I do translation work for EU universities so the lack of guidelines and new bureaucracy would make it impossible for me to win any EU contracts going forward. Had we been a fully-EU family, we could have waited to see how Brexit panned out but I am the sticking point; all of my family can leave after Brexit, whereas I become landlocked in the UK, severed from my husband and children.

Thomas feels Scottish. We never expected to feel so insecure that we’d feel our only option was to flee the country, but that’s what we have decided to do.

I have good days where I am almost excited at the prospect of escaping, and bad ones where I cry and hide under the duvet as starting my life from scratch is too big to contemplate. We’re having to leave my two oldest kids in Scotland to complete their uni degrees. They both came top at a top state schools, and the wee ones have that same potential, but they will grow up in Denmark. Scotland’s loss will be Denmark’s gain.

If economists are right, we’re escaping a recession that will overshadow the remainder of their childhood and moving to the “happiest” country in the world. I’ll just need to make the best of a situation I didn’t choose, but it definitely feels good to regain control of my future after 984 days in limbo.