The National:

IT is becoming increasingly difficult to provide a good reason for Scotland not to be an independent nation.

Westminster has torn up our European Union membership, squandered our vast natural resources and failed to deliver promises time and time again.

For anyone to argue against the Yes movement, they really need to get creative.

That’s exactly what Times columnist Kenny Farquharson has done – suggesting coronavirus exposes crucial flaws in the pro-independence case.

READ MORE: Coronavirus Live: MP in self-isolation after testing positive

Referring to the global outbreak, he asks: “Will the crisis nourish Scottish nationalism or will it test Scottish nationalism’s most basic assumptions?”

He claims that the virus will expose an “inconsistency” in the pro-Yes argument.

“The SNP’s internationalism is selective,” Farquharson writes. “It is enthusiastic about political union with the nations of continental Europe but not Scotland’s most immediate neighbours within the British Isles.

“This is like choosing to work with people in the tower block across the road rather than your neighbours in the tower block where you live. It makes no sense.”

He goes on to predict that coronavirus will foster a “renewed respect for a United Kingdom” and emphasise the requirement for a co-ordinated approach to crises across the UK – which the columnist claims will lead people to question the point of independence at all.

READ MORE: Health Minister Nadine Dorries tests positive for coronavirus

He adds: “One of the big tasks of Scottish independence will therefore be reconstructing the UK, or at least aspects of it. The end point of this process is, in my view, a kind of British confederation … Why fight for independence if Scotland will eventually require a union with England anyway? Why not reform the union we already have?”

He concludes that the coronavirus outbreak “will do no favours for the cause of Scottish independence”.

Amazingly, not everyone seems convinced by Farquharson’s claims.

Sunday National columnist Stuart Cosgrove replied: “Can you self-isolate this feverish argument”?

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson posted: “While the UK chooses self-isolation it is an independent Scotland that wishes to rejoin the world and build as many alliances as possible.”

They weren’t the only ones to point out a few flaws in the column.

Many pointed out the coronavirus outbreak is more likely to strengthen the case for Scottish sovereignty.

One reply read: “I suspect that is actually not the case. Decisions being made most appropriate to the local population is optimal. Our needs will not weigh, understandably, as heavy to a London govt that may make a different decision to suit the majority of the UK, ie England.”

Another stated: “Brexit UK is what's isolating Scotland – Conoravirus is highlighting why international cooperation between independent nations is essential.

“Not that we need to be ruled by other nations waiting for them to take decisions for us. Your argument at this time is desperation.”

And this question summed up the backlash: “Is there anything that doesn’t harm the case for independence?”