IN a tale of two Celtic countries, a marginalised Scotland is looking on at the Republic of Ireland’s successful global strategy with an envious eye.

EU Trade Commissioner, a seat on the UN Security Council, president of the Eurogroup and head of the European Medicines Agency – it’s an impressive list of leaves on the shamrock as Ireland builds on its diplomatic mission to the world.

Read it and weep, Scotland.

Professor Brigid Laffan, director of the Robert Schuman Centre at the European University Institute, argues that this new global strategy for Ireland has much to do with the EU acting as a “geopolitical anchor” for the Republic during its bespoke response to Brexit and beyond.

The EU has had Ireland’s back throughout the whole protracted and messy Brexit debate, and Ireland has resolutely refused to let Brexit define its future.

Of course, the UK’s exit from the EU presents huge challenges for Ireland’s economy and stability, but instead of going “small”, Ireland has re-thought its place in the global community and gone “big” on its diplomatic mission. The Emerald Isle is looking out to the world as the UK retreats inward, pulling Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland kicking and screaming with it.

As former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stated at the Global Ireland Showcase in Dublin Castle recently, the Republic is “sending out a clear message that Ireland believes in multilateralism and international co-operation”. This Irish strategy is the diametric opposite of the narrow, isolationist, dead-end Britain of the Brexiteers.

The new “historic compromise” coalition government between the civil war combatants Fianna Fail and Fine Gael may have been cobbled together to shut out a rampant Sinn Fein but there is little doubt that it has hit the ground running. There is life in the old dogs yet!

Ireland’s increasing influence shows its global strategy is working and that its hand of friendship is warmly received on the world stage. As we all navigate our way through stormy political waters, Ireland has the support of 26 other countries around the EU table. It may be a small nation compared to Germany and France but, as far as Europe is concerned, it is a relationship of equals and Ireland has much to contribute to the partnership.

Tell us something we don’t know, I hear you cry. It’s no new revelation that the EU is good for small countries; it’s one of the many reasons we voted to Remain back in 2016. And just imagine what an independent Scotland could achieve with our equal place in Brussels.

Outwith Europe, the Republic has other friends to call on in times of turmoil. Despite Donald Trump’s links with Boris Johnson, the transatlantic connection between Ireland and the US remains strong. Congress has been unwavering in its support for protecting peace on the island of Ireland and ensuring the continuation of the Good Friday Agreement, regardless of the challenges of Brexit to the border question. This solid and enduring relationship with the US can only be strengthened by a Biden victory in November. A new president with Irish ancestry will be more than happy to bolster this historical and cultural connection and help strengthen Ireland’s influence in the world.

MEANWHILE, Scotland is grappling with the current unruly president, with an ancestry we’d rather all rather forget about.

Trump couldn’t care less about Scotland’s desire for self-determination or indeed how badly we are being treated at the hands of buddy Boris. It’s all dollar signs and business opportunities as far as he is concerned.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s plans to grab our parliament and devolution have made headlines these past few days. What few powers we’ll have left at the end of Brexit and once his so-called “internal market” is up and running will further diminish our position in this increasingly disunited kingdom.

The reality of this power grab should be enough to inject a badly needed sense of urgency into the veins of even the most timorous high heidyins of the independence family. With a whopping great majority at Westminster and an ego to match, Johnson can do what he wants.

It doesn’t matter to him that we value our parliament, that we valued our place in Europe, that we want to protect our economy and future from his careless and inhumane policies.

For Johnson, like many of the elite in our past history, Scotland is a plaything, a property to be tamed and cowed, and his obvious disregard for our democratic wishes is growing with every passing day. Indeed, the fact that neither he nor his daft laddie sidekick Michael Gove, bother now to conceal their contempt should tell us they think they have little to fear from Scotland. They believe that we are all talk and no political initiative and time is running out to prove them wrong.

The PM’s proposed bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland is another joke at our expense, one to be added to Johnson’s back catalogue of crazy ideas to distract from the lack of any actual concrete solutions to existing problems. A man who could not even span a garden bridge across the River Thames will not be able to fling one over the Irish Sea.

Fortunately for Scotland, a bridge of like minds and understanding already exists between Scotland and Ireland, north and south, a deep and prevailing Celtic connection, bolstered partly in its resolve by ill-treatment from the powers that be at Westminster, but mostly in a global and outward vision for our nations.

Now, Ireland is pursuing this vision with vigour and success while Scotland’s ambitions are stymied by the dark shadow of Westminster.

It’s a perfect storm, a tipping point, a watershed moment or at least it should be. Watching Ireland take its place in the world and stepping up to its global responsibilities should be a massive wake-up call to Scots, of No, Yes or don’t-know persuasion.

In the absence of the EU as a geopolitical anchor for Scotland, how will we take our place on the world stage and re-assert our sovereignty in the face of political attacks from Westminster?

Answers online at #Indyref2Now.