The National:

IN 2014, Unionists made the clarion call for Scotland to lead the United Kingdom – not leave it. Of course, many of us knew then that promises linked to a No vote would be hollow words on the part of the Westminster elite.

And at every turn since 2014, we’ve been proven right in that regard.

In truth, Westminster has no interest in listening to Scotland. Perhaps one of the most obvious examples of this has been the Brexit process in which Scotland and its government ministers have been ignored at every turn, culminating in us being dragged out of the European Union against our nation’s will.

Since being elected to the House of Commons, I’ve seen countless occasions when Scottish MPs are shouted down, disrespected and downright ignored by the British government.

Recently, though, the British government managed to outdo itself by legislating to reduce Scotland’s representation at Westminster. At first, Tory ministers wanted to reduce the size of the House of Commons from 650 to 600 seats. In the end, they U-turned and kept the status quo, except they instead robbed seats from Scotland and Wales to beef up parliamentary representation in London and the South east of England.

The National: Bloated: The House of LordsBloated: The House of Lords

Currently, Scotland has 59 Members of Parliament to represent us from Shetland right down to Coldstream. However, figures released by the Boundary Commission yesterday showed that Scotland will lose two seats.

It isn’t just Scotland that’s been shafted by this new legislation. Wales now stands to lose eight seats to the advantage of England as well.

Some independence supporters may question why this matters. After all, isn’t the plan to be free from Westminster by the next Westminster election?

READ MORE: Wales and Scotland to lose MPs while England gains 10 in Westminster shake-up

To that I say yes, categorically and emphatically. I don’t want to be in the House of Commons for a second longer than is absolutely necessary.

Until that day though, I will continue to campaign for independence and bring people over to supporting our cause. To do that, we need to point out the harsh reality of what staying in this crumbling Union means.

Those who voted No in 2014 and are now taking a fresh look at independence need to know what their vote actually meant – diminished representation and many more years to come of cruel and emboldened Tory rule.

The National: No voters were promised much but have seen their influence reduced by successive Tory governments No voters were promised much but have seen their influence reduced by successive Tory governments

None of us need a referendum date to campaign for independence. You can campaign right now by shouting from the rooftops about this outrageous seat grab.

All of this is a kick in the teeth to the devolved nations whose voice in Europe was first diminished and now finds itself in the chopping block come the next General Election.

Whilst I sincerely hope and believe that Scotland won’t have to send MPs south of the Border following another General Election, we can’t be placed in a position where Scottish voices are muzzled and Scottish votes in Parliament are sacrificed to boost the power of south-east England.

As Scotland marches on in its journey to independence, it’s vital that our voice is heard and our votes are counted in Parliament. The legislation Westminster just passed will only hasten Scottish independence and I for one am looking forward to myself and 58 MP colleagues soon being called former MPs!

David Linden is the SNP MP for Glasgow East