PEOPLE sometimes forget politicians are people too. It is a tragedy that Brexit has brought such uncertainty to the lives of millions of people, EU nationals in Scotland and Scots and Brits abroad. I know, I’m one of them.

Along with my team – Laura, Adam, Clyn, Ciarán and Patrick – we’ve had a fair bit of personal uncertainty to navigate as well! I should have been unemployed on March 29, then again on Friday, yet somehow have survived and face next week my last Strasbourg session having already given my last speech where I asked them to leave a light on for us. I’ve had more goodbye gigs than the Rolling Stones.

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I’m lucky, I have plenty support networks; a supportive boyfriend and family, a great crowd of friends, a united party and I have to say, no small amount of bloody mindedness that I’m not going down without a fight.

The National:

There have been moments when the “what are you going to do next?” questions – all well-meaning I know – were becoming wearing.

I had started to think about my own post-MEP future, and had got as far as I want to live in Scotland but there isn’t much of a plan beyond that.

People did not quite seem to accept that I really have been totally focussed on stopping Brexit, because that is the best option for all of us.

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So, we made it past May 29, and now we’ve made it past April 12 too. The uncertainty has been tough but we’ve not been crippled by it, we’ve fought and fought hard. It now seems more than likely that the European elections will be our best opportunity to turn Brexit around once and for all, to show to ourselves and the wider world that Scotland wants something different, and to expand the SNP team that will fight for Scotland.

The more I think on it, the more I’m excited at the prospect. This is our election. Independence in Europe and international solidarity is written into the party’s DNA. Remember the map of the EU referendum results, proving to us all that Scotland wants something different from all this, something the Tories have systematically ignored and belittled.

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We have tried to find compromise, and at every turn been shut out while a UK Government tried to negotiate with itself. Well they ken noo. Their narrow pursuit of party interests has brought them and us to this chaos, trashing the UK’s reputation in the eyes of the world, and Scotland wants better.

The National:

There’s also the other parties – will the Labour and Tory manifestos be pro or anti-Brexit? I’d suggest it would be a bold candidate to stand in Scotland on that premise, and both parties will be hopelessly split.

Similarly, the anti-European vote, to the extent there will be one, will be split between Ukip, which now looks and feels more Britain First than anything, and the new Faragist party. I’d say that is a target-rich environment for the SNP.

If Scotland returns a strong slate of pro-EU, pro-independence MEPs, it’s going to send a strong message to the EU and the UK alike – reiterating that Scotland is a pro-EU, or at least anti-this-Brexit-mess nation, and that Westminster has not been speaking for us. It’s a win-win situation for independence supporters if we can show the EU that we do things differently here.

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So I have put my papers in, and the SNP selection process is ongoing. Ian Hudghton has done likewise, and the list will be put together firstly by the National Executive Committee to produce two lists of three men and three women, then that gender balanced list of six will go to delegates to our Spring Conference to be ranked one to six. I’ll take nothing for granted but I hope that over the last few years, indeed over the last 15, I’ve proven I can put in a shift and make Scotland’s voice heard. This is our election and I want to play my part in it.

We also have some real talent coming through. Dr Aileen Mcleod and Laura Rayner have both put their papers in as well. As well as being committed activists, both are real EU experts, Aileen a former minister in our national Government and was already a candidate for us in the 2009 election where we only narrowly missed a third seat. Laura is my chief of staff in Brussels and has worked with me for 11 years. She knows Brussels inside out, and can hit the ground running. The lists will be put together over the next weeks, and I’m sure we’ll have a strong slate.

This is Scotland’s chance to seize control of a process that has proven just how broken the UK is. This European election is Scotland’s chance to shine.