AS the longest-serving SNP representative in the Commons, currently the chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee and previously the SNP’s shadow leader of the House, Westminster spokesperson for the constitution, for culture and sport and chief whip, you would think that he knows what he’s talking about ... so with that amount of experience, what does he know that he’s not letting on?

When Pete and his “independence by glaciation” squad ridicule the notion of a Plan B for the route to independence they seem to gloss over the notion that any Section 30 agreement will come attached with conditions that no self-respecting SNP government could ever accept. Consequently all those advocating this route are guilty of propagating a false prospectus and need to either put up or shut up.

READ MORE: Pete Wishart: Indy Plan B could see Scotland in 'hellish limbo' like Catalonia

In October 2018 the Constitution Reform Group with the Privy councillor and token jock, Menzies Campbell, sponsored the Act of Union Bill in the House of Lords, interestingly where there’s no SNP representation. In all his years in the English Parliament, the cause of independence has never had to confront such an existential threat to Scotland helped along the way with things called Henry VIII powers and all during his stint as SNP shadow leader of the House.

Our English cousins aren’t stupid and an 80-seat majority will be as nothing when the men in grey suits emerge from the shadows to confront the retribution of the twin economic tsunamis of Covid-19 and a No Deal Brexit with a Government of National Unity, then the new Act of Union will be the all-important weapon in their armoury.

July 4, 2018, Independence Day, was the day chosen for the Commons debate on the latest incarnation of Scotland’s Claim of Right and during the term of his role as shadow leader of the House. Interestingly he isn’t recorded in Hansard as having contributed to the debate but presumably he knows of the outcome ... “That this House endorses the principles of the Claim of Right for Scotland, agreed by the Scottish Constitutional Convention in 1989 and by the Scottish Parliament in 2012, and therefore acknowledges the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.”

Yes, international recognition is the prerequisite to achieving independence and there are no better examples than that achieved by the Baltic states following the fall of the Soviet regime.

Yes, we need recognition and under the very terms that the UK Government set out for the “liberation” of Kosovo (see United Kingdom’s Response to the Questions put by Judges Koroma and Cancado Trindade, referenced in the Westminster Cannot Block Scottish Independence blog post by Craig Murray on January 14, 2020). What we don’t need is the continuing national humiliation by repeated rejection of Section 30 requests.

Why doesn’t Pete know about this?

Never before in the history of our collective endeavours has the cause of independence been so necessary and so close. Never before did we have to contend with being dragged out of the EU against our will and the impending economic catastrophe. The independence by glaciation mob, as represented by Mr Wishart, seem carelessly unaware of the pressures of time. Plans B, C or however many alternatives are needed now.

It is clear from the Yes side of the discussion that we need each other to collaborate in our joint cause but equally the SNP need to disabuse themselves that they know what’s best for the rest of us. That sounds like another version of that quality brand know as Scottish Labour exceptionalism.

Iain Bruce