WHEN it comes to the UK Government, it’s increasingly vital that we focus on what it is doing, rather than what it is saying. This is because there is quite a gap growing between the two.

This week, it told us the report on Russian interference in our democracy was all about the outcome of the 2014 independence referendum. In fact, the report slammed a lack of commitment or scrutiny from the UK Government in addressing what the report called “the new normal” – Russian influence over our elections, civic debate and yes, donations to the Conservative Party.

Instead of listening to what they are saying, look at the actions of Boris Johnson and his Government – they tried to suppress the report for months. Apart from everything else, he and David Cameron had accepted a £160,000 donation from a former Russian minister’s wife for a game of tennis in 2014.

We’ve also seen a lot of talk about “protecting the UK internal market” when it comes to post-Brexit trade deals. Boris Johnson has come to Scotland to tell us all about it. But when you look at the small print of the White Paper on this, there is a very serious threat to Scotland’s devolution.

In effect, the UK Government proposes it should have a veto over all devolved responsibilities. I’ll let that sink in. They are trying to reframe devolution as merely the power to innovate, to come up with good ideas, not lead. They want to place a veto in the hands of Boris Johnson over anything he doesn’t like.

Firstly, this is about Brexit and getting a trade deal that allows other countries to buy and sell whatever they want here. But there is also the question of other things in Scotland that might stand in the way of the interests of big business. What about our fracking ban? What about new nuclear power stations?

The UK Government tells us that Scotland’s environmental and food standards are safe. It tells us our bold public health initiatives such as minimum unit pricing are safe. It tells us the NHS is safe. But look at its actions, not its words.

This week, Boris Johnson even refused to give Westminster any say on his trade deals. Make no mistake, he certainly wants no input from Holyrood or the Welsh Assembly.

And when it comes to Scotland’s publicly owned, publicly run National Health Service, on Tuesday MPs voted down an amendment to the Trade Bill which would have protected health services across the UK from overseas control.

At a time when we have collectively valued the efforts of our NHS, applauded in the streets the staff who embody it, the UK Government has pushed through a trade bill which threatens its very existence.

READ MORE: Furious Scottish Greens hit out at UK Brexit power grab plans

The NHS in England has already been carved up and offered to private providers for years now, but Scotland’s NHS has been its own entity since it was established in 1947. In one vote, that independence was undermined.

Big Pharma and US healthcare companies are not driven by any concerns over the health and wellbeing of our people. They want to make money. This means higher drug prices, and private providers being able to sue governments if they try to limit their profits.

Donald Trump said he wants “nothing to do with the NHS”, but if that were so, why are the UK Government ensuring it can be on the table in trade talks?

Commitments to protect the NHS and maintain animal welfare and food standards are written in sand when everything Boris Johnson does to prepare for trade deals paves the way for the opposite.

IT’S clear this reckless Tory Government sees devolved administrations as a stumbling block to its ideological pursuit of a deregulated Brexit. It wants our hard-won protections and standards as trade deal bargaining chips, and wants the power to undermine our ability to make decisions for ourselves.

Could this future “UK internal market” also require the undoing of some of Holyrood’s greatest achievements, if any of those policies stood in the way of corporate interests? Despite what the UK Government says, it wants the power to do so.

The Scottish Greens have had a huge impact in Scotland’s devolution journey, pushing the other parties to go further when it comes to social and environmental justice.

We have won a fairer income tax system, a fracking ban, vital protections for our wildlife and marine environment and free bus travel for young people, and led the UK in banning physical punishment of children. We have also supported free personal care and public health interventions such as the smoking ban and minimum unit pricing.

Make no mistake, we’ll defend these gains with all our might, because actions count more than words.