A FORMER UK Government civil servant has launched a furious attack on the Scottish Tories’ “vandalism of the Union” – revealing he now believes independence may be the best path for him.

Richard Haviland, who worked within the UK Government for 25 years with time in the Department for International Development and Foreign Office, accused Boris Johnson’s party of making him a “stranger in my own country”.

Writing in The Times, the former official hit out at the Brexiteer Conservatives for “othering” the losing side of the EU referendum.

After Brexit, and Johnson’s election, Haviland notes: “The Parliament of the Union we were told to cherish was illegally closed down. Scots were threatened three times with a No-Deal Brexit. The UK’s international reputation was trashed. All to deafening silence from the Scottish Tories.

“These things accumulate. Even if you would never have considered independence, they push you, gradually, to a place where you start to.”

After attacking Douglas Ross’s party for failing to explain why they support Brexit – despite it ending freedom of movement and damaging the farming and fishing industries – Haviland criticises them for not reaching out to people moving from No to Yes.

“It’s easier, I suppose, to shout ever more loudly to your base and call for the spirit of Better Together as if the past few years hadn’t happened … “ he writes.

The National:

Since 2016 the Scottish Tory “obsession with the SNP has subsumed all else”, he says – with much of the party’s criticism hypocritical. One example would include the Tories going after the Hate Crime Bill while the Policing Bill went through Westminster.

Ross’s party now has two options – call out Brexit for the “self-inflicted disaster it is”, explain how the Union can work in the future and distance themselves from Johnson; or “play along with the charade” and deny democracy in Scotland.

The Scottish Tories have repeatedly sought to downplay the mandate for indyref2 despite the nation electing a pro-independence majority at Holyrood last month, with 72 pro-Yes MSPs.

“I have come with considerable sadness to the conclusion that independence offers me a better chance of living in a reasonably functioning democracy that enjoys grown-up relations with its neighbours,” he writes.

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“The UK may yet limp on for a while yet, gravely injured. But bit by bit the Conservative and Unionist Party is squeezing the life out of it.”

Haviland, who is now involved with the European Movement in Scotland, won praise from independence supporters online.

National contributor John Drummond wrote: “It’s always helpful to hear what Richard Haviland has to say.”

Rhoda Miller flagged the article up to the Scottish Tories, telling them: “The rest of the world are catching up with what many of us have known for a very long time.”

“Welcome to a free country when you are ready,” added another Twitter user.