THE UK Internal Market Bill that was published this week is completely outrageous. And if that wasn’t obvious from the Northern Ireland Secretary admitting that it breaks international law, the small print is even worse.

This is a proposed law that tears up democracy and the devolved settlement. It is a part of a reckless approach to Brexit which puts our rights and environmental protections at the mercy of deregulated markets.

It goes against everything the Scottish Greens stand for, because it puts profit and an economic race to the bottom before people’s lives, livelihoods and the future of the planet.

It also places a veto in the hands of the UK Government over anything any devolved government decides to do in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament will not consent to this bill, because devolved matters should stay in the hands of devolved government, but we know from recent experience that the UK Government does not take the Scottish Parliament’s consent into consideration anyway, certainly not when it comes to Brexit. They don’t even seem to care that it is unlawful.

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This attitude will only make more people in Scotland disillusioned with a UK democracy that already doesn’t represent them, maintains an old-fashioned and unrepresentative electoral system, is taking them out of Europe and insists on an unelected upper chamber that mostly rewards privilege with lifetime positions.

With this in mind, I’m excited and optimistic that the polls are showing increased support for Scotland to go a different way. We’ve seen Boris Johnson’s response to growing support in the polls: a promise to build roads in Scotland with a Union flag on them. A fantasy road bridge to Ireland.

Despite the promise of more powers in 2014, we’ve already seen a clawing back of control via the EU withdrawal bill, another which the Scottish Parliament did not consent to.

Now, faced with the threat of Covid-19 economic fallout, Brexit deregulation and climate breakdown, Scotland has an opportunity to go on a different path.

But with many of those coming around to Yes less interested in flags and more interested in outcomes, it’s not enough just to talk about the referendum itself. We need to know what we want from independence. That’s the conversation I want to be having. Independence isn’t the endgame, it’s a means to an end.

When it comes to tackling the global climate emergency, some talk about Scotland being too small to make a difference, but as someone who works in renewable energy, I believe Scotland can lead the way.

Thanks in large part to the sector I work in, tidal power, Scotland has 25% of all the renewable energy resource in Europe. With the right infrastructure to build on this potential capacity of 60GW or more, we could be a major international exporter of clean energy.

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The courage needed here is to start that transition now, not wait until we have extracted every last drop of oil. And while the Scottish Greens push the SNP out of their comfort zone on this – there is a lot more they can do to create quality green jobs, for example – the fact remains that Westminster still dictates fiscal, economic and monetary policy, air transport, energy markets and efficiency. The tariffs impacting on my industry are dictated by Westminster.

It is a fact that there is simply no political will in the House of Commons, aside from the wonderful Caroline Lucas, to take the actions required with the urgency that reflects the existential threat hanging over us. Independence isn’t about a change of government, it’s about a change of political structure that can represent us and gives us a chance to do things differently.

As I mentioned, I’ve seen some people in the independence campaign suggest that to focus on the climate is wrong; that Scotland’s efforts will be undermined by governments in the US, Russia and China that still cause the most emissions. But that is an argument that Scotland is too small and too poor to make a difference. With the resources, talent and renewables potential we have, I strongly refute with that assertion.

Scotland can lead efforts to tackle the climate emergency on the world stage.

Instead, we are governed by those who we didn’t vote for, who are stuck in the failed old ways of the past.

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I mean, the effectiveness of building loads of new roads was being questioned in the 1960s, but that is all Johnson and his cronies can come up with.

Instead, Scotland should be looking at how other normal European countries are building back better from Covid-19.

If we want to inject some hope into this fractured and chaotic new reality, it’s not enough to just talk about independence.

We need to imagine Scotland, with a seat at the European table, taking a leadership role in creating a greener and fairer Europe, instead of going backwards as part of an increasingly insular, deregulated and undemocratic Britain.