The National:

BREXIT is the political project of this UK Government – alongside attempting to manage Covid-19. They are on the former informed by the rhetoric of "Taking Back Control", the warm words of promising "sunny uplands", and in Boris Johnson’s panglossian take the allure of an "Eldorado" of buzzing freeports and happy British fish.

Step forward this week Tory minister and arch Brexit true believer Michael Gove who stated: “Independence would cost Scotland far more than Brexit, study finds” in response to an LSE report on the potential future cost to the Scottish economy of Scottish independence compared to Brexit.

In one tweet of a mere ten words Gove admitted political reality into his doctrinaire and blinkered political bunker – acknowledging that Brexit has severe penalties, a down side, and an economic cost – which contradicts his own previous pronouncements and the official view of the UK Government. Not only that he suggested that the main argument for the Union was an entirely negative one: of the relative lesser harm done to Scotland from political change he believed in. Not a bad result from ten words: managing to completely shooting yourself in both feet!

READ MORE: Michael Gove causes Twitter storm with post on Scottish independence and Brexit

Brexit is a tough sell to make to Scots. We did not vote for it in 2016. We were told in 2014 in no uncertain terms that if we wanted to remain in the EU we had to vote No. And then when we voted Remain in 2016 we were told the prospect of leaving was all apparent in 2014, in the small print, and hence discounted, so shut up and eat your cereal. And shouldn’t you lot up there all be appreciative of living in the greatest union the human race has ever produced!

Boris Johnson’s Government have many problems. They have an assortment of Brexit-related challenges – in Northern Ireland, in Scotland, in fisheries, the City of London, and indeed across all business, and if you want as a consumer to buy products from an EU country.

They also have a wider democratic and political set of problems - a Prime Minister and Government which only has an English mandate. When it invokes "One Nation Toryism" we all know which "one nation" is being talked about. It is not the UK: rather it is England.It is obvious that the Tories do not know how to square Brexit in relation to Scotland and independence, and to present the case for the union beyond slapping union jacks on anything that moves north of the border with a UK Government connection. More intelligent voices at the heart of the UK Government know that this is a barren strategy, playing for time and hoping and praying something comes up to change the political terrain here.

But the biggest lesson to take from Michael Gove’s ill-advised comments is that the most honest appeal for the Union is that their disaster nationalism is, when it all comes down to it, the least worse option. Never mind the 110,000 dead from Covid-19 or that the UK is viewed as "the sick man of Europe", or the £22 billion spent on Test and Trace, or the spiv culture by which thousands of consultants have been hired to work on Covid – and not judging by results anything to do with frontline services.

READ MORE: Would independence hit the Scottish economy harder than Brexit?

Michael Gove has come clean and revealed what many long knew: that the UK Government’s Brexit outlook and worldview is shaped by a disaster nationalism which is not really concerned with the health, well-being and livelihoods of its citizens. Rather it is content to pose that their disaster nationalism is somehow less deadly, costly and prone to self-harm that any potential nationalism in Scotland establishing its own state. This is a grim outlook: one of near Armageddon proportions where governments, democracies and states are not about trying to do good and to be enlightened and progressive, but about a Manichean black and white world of death and pain. But then we guessed that.

So much then for love bombing Scotland: that was the old hit parade of 2014 when we needed to be jollied along and convinced we were special and had a warm place in the heart of the British ruling elite and establishment. Many here, wanted to believe that then. Who does not want to think they are special? Or that when another is wooing you that it might not be genuine and imply good behaviour in the future?

Well, we all know now. We have been warned. And we have seen what this unique, precious partnership entails: one which has a profound contempt for the people not just of Scotland but the entire UK. The difference we have to elsewhere is that we have the power in our hands to make "Take Back Control" an actual reality.