AS the prospect of Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves inexorably towards reality so the minute hand on the clock of Scottish independence edges closer towards noon. As such, the Scottish Government must begin to plan for a future beyond self-determination. Yes, of course we will probably need to have another White Paper on independence and Andrew Wilson’s Growth Commission will require to be refined further still.

I feel, though, that Scotland ought also to look closely at Jeremy Hunt’s “three conditions” challenge for a second referendum on independence.

Perhaps there is something we can learn from the Hunt Ultimatum as we seek to shape our future relationship with England in the immediate post-independence years. Like the vast majority of Scots, my fervent wish is that both of our great countries move forward together in a spirit of friendship and neighbourly fraternity.

READ MORE: We need to tax the grievance monkey unwashed Jocks until they squeak!

Yet, I would urge caution on Nicola Sturgeon and her senior negotiators when comes the day that they must sit down with the Westminster team and forge the details of our new relationship.

In the euphoria of gaining our self-determination it would be easy for them to take their eye off the ball and just be thankful that we actually reached this stage at all.

For all of Johnson’s anti-Scottish bluster and Hunt’s supercilious and imperious posturing the English Government will be desperate to forge a close alliance with the nation that sits on the other side of the Border.

The National: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt

Scotland, though, has gained a global reputation as a progressive and compassionate country that seeks to welcome all those fleeing torture and war. It desires to reach a gold standard in the way it does business with other countries and conducts its own affairs. An independent Scotland doesn’t want merely to enter into alliances with any old Tom, Dick or Harry on the global stage.

As the Good Lord counsels us in chapter seven of the Gospel of Matthew: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn-bushes or figs from thistles?”

Not for nothing are the English renowned the world over for the sleekitness of their diplomacy. No box set of US spy thrillers can pass muster unless it features some fork-tongued fop sewing quiet havoc in the shadows.

You don’t get to rape and pillage half the world in the cause of empire or enable a dodgy Soviet linesman to officiate at your one and only World Cup final unless you’re a master of the dark arts of geo-political hustling and manipulation.

READ MORE: Kevin McKenna: Breaking away from England is a moral imperative

No-one’s suggesting here we should be paranoid or that we should enter our post-independence negotiations with anything other than open minds and willing hearts.

But we do need to watch our backs … and our flanks, not to mention our fronts. Westminster mandarins will attempt to bedazzle our negotiators with all sorts of shallow blandishments and visits to the royal box at Wimbledon. They will expect us to be grateful simply to be offered an alliance with them.

The National:

I would thus urge the Scottish negotiating team to go into these talks armed with a list of pre-conditions before we even countenance a special relationship with London.

So, in a spirit of civic patriotism I’d like to get the ball rolling with my own list of 12 conditions before we consider an alliance with England. The world will be watching and we need to lay down a marker about what sort of independent country we are striving to be.

1. ENGLAND must provide detailed and independently verified documentation that no member of its government has had any links to dodgy off-shore tax havens for a period of at least five years.

2. ENGLAND must also provide similarly verified evidence that none of its cabinet or their families are skimming off the NHS with juicy private contracts. Juice threshold in such deals will be set by an international tribunal.

3. ENGLAND must allow a team of Scottish weapons inspectors to ensure that it isn’t continuing to sell illegal arms directly to gangster states such as Saudi Arabia or indirectly via other gangster states such as the US.

4. SCOTLAND is to issue a list of foreign nationals it deems to be undesirable and a threat to the peace and security of the realm such as Donald Trump, Bashar al Assad, Kim Jong-un and Kim Dotcom. England will provide at least six months advance notice before issuing any invitations to any such.

READ MORE: What really went on at Buck House when the Trumps came to dinner ...

5. ENGLAND must agree to the establishment of special Met Police re-training camps to ensure all serving officers are free of corrupt and racist influences. These are to be overseen by DI Steve Arnott and DS Ted Hastings of AC-12, the only independently verifiable clean police officers in England and Wales.

The National:

6. ENGLAND must agree to a team of Scottish and international monitors to ensure all of its elections are legal and squeaky clean and free from any dark money of uncertain provenance and sinister data-collecting agencies.

7. ENGLAND must sign a joint memorandum of peaceful intent with Scotland which commits to avoiding all dodgy overseas wars and skirmishes. All suspect dossiers compiled for the purposes of participating in such skirmishes to be scrutinised by the Scottish Greens and the Rainbow Alliance.

8. ALL future UK Prime Ministers must provide medical certification that they have been free from Class A drugs for a period of five years.

9. AN annual lump sum of £1 billion is to be paid to meet the costs of decommissioning Trident over the course of the next 20 years.

10. AN annual lump sum of several billion pounds is to be paid by England as reparation and compensation for siphoning off Scotland’s oil reserves and using it to pay down England’s deficit in the Thatcher era. This to be set by the indefatigable Mr Fraser of Allander.

11. AN annual lump sum is to be agreed between both administrations to assist in the maintenance of all royal households, lands, servants, uniforms and food and drink, before decommissioning of the House of Windsor is complete.

12. THE establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to assist in the process of healing between both of our great nations following the false claims made by the UK Government during both independence referendum campaigns. This to be chaired by Mr Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Irish Republic.

I feel that these would provide the basis for a reasonable and just concordat to be reached between both countries.

It would go far in re-establishing trust in Westminster following centuries of duplicity and perfidiousness in its dealings with Scotland and permit us to advance hand-in-hand with England towards a mutually rewarding future.