NEVER mind the outcome of Brexit talks or the date of the next indyref. Scotland suddenly has the tantalising prospect of a Sturgeon/Trump meeting – maybe as soon as this autumn.

I cannae wait.

Speaking yesterday after a speech at Stanford University during her tour of the United States, Nicola Sturgeon said; “I fully expect, during his presidency, President Trump will come to the UK and come to Scotland. As First Minister of Scotland, I’m not going to decline to meet him.”

Wow. I won’t not meet him. You cannae get mair lukewarm than that. But then Sturgeon and Trump have form. And not the girl-meets-boy hand-holding form of Donald and Theresa. Back in 2015, when he was only a game-show host, property tycoon and un-fancied Presidential hopeful, Nicola stripped The Donald of his Global Scot status after he called for a ban on Muslims entering the USA. Soon after that he was stripped of an honorary degree by Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Coming in the wake of Michael Forbes being voted Scot of the Year in 2012 for refusing to move from Trump’s path at the Menie Estate golf course, every Trump encounter with his (sort of) homeland was turning pretty sour.

Then came the 2016 Holyrood elections, and those highly colourful and memorable interviews by Gary Tank Commander. Asked what she would say if President Trump came calling, Nicola Sturgeon said she would be “on the other line”. Willie Rennie said he would say “get off my phone”. Ruth Davidson said: “My question would be ‘can I have fries with that’, because I don’t think he’ll have a job because I don’t think he’ll be President of the United States.” Kezia Dugdale said Trump was an “arse” and urged him to “stop preaching hate”.

Only UKIP Scotland leader David Coburn would invite Trump for a round of golf but described President Trump as a “terrifying prospect” which “makes Dr Strangelove, the movie about nuclear war, seem more like fact than fiction”.

Every politician in Scotland stuck in the boot, the brogue or the stiletto.

In fact Scotland’s aggressive rejection of The Donald became a worldwide phenomenon when an American TV video by Amy Hoggart went viral in early 2017.

No-one saw the Trump presidency coming. But of course, Nicola Sturgeon’s opponents and even some supporters will regard the First Minister’s new willingness to meet Trump as a bit of a climb-down.

Au contraire. It’s a masterstroke.

Because how will Trump react?

Will he accept or pointedly ignore the First Minister’s sort of invitation? Will he accept but then sit girning? Will the entire meeting be conducted in secret to avoid embarrassment for both sides?

Any kind of frostiness followed by a pointed refusal to shake hands will be the best international endorsement Nicola Sturgeon could ever hope for. Parity of esteem with the world’s most powerful woman -- Angela Merkel.

And the international dimension really matters in the slow slide towards indyref2 because every foreign mention of little Scotland and our distinctive political culture breathes credibility into the case for Scottish independence.

In yesterday’s European Parliament debate of Theresa May’s Brexit proposals, Spanish MEPs mentioned Scotland’s different pro-European stance several times. González Pons, an MEP from the Spanish governing party openly criticised the Westminster Government for “preventing Scotland being part of Europe.”

Indeed, the wholesale transformation of thinking on the part of European leaders towards the prospects of an independent Scotland in the EU proves a material change has taken place outside as well as inside Scotland – all courtesy of that game-changer called Brexit.

And the changing international environment seems to have instilled a little courage in significant former No voters back here.

Yesterday, Labour’s David Martin MEP surprised many by saying he’d consider a Yes vote next time around because of Brexit, prompting some to ask whether a new pro-indy Labour is about to emerge from the ruins of the party’s local election experience.

It would be nice to think so. And it would follow European precedent. In many of the Nordic nations it was emergent Social Democratic or Labour parties which took their countries to independence. Indeed even the Norwegian Conservatives finally supported a break with Swedish rule, realising politics would never return to normal (and anything resembling class politics) until that huge constitutional bridge was crossed.

Now Scotland isn’t Norway. A referendum insisted on by the King of Sweden found 368,208 votes (99.95%) in favour and only 184 against – and that was just male voters. A similar referendum carried out by suffragettes found roughly 200,000 women in support and just a handful against.

But near-unanimity about independence in Norway was partly the product of genuinely powerful devolved parliament for nearly a century, elected by 45% of the male population (at a time when only 5% of men throughout Britain could vote). In Scotland democracy is a thinner thing, the timescales of devolution are shorter, inequality stunts social cohesion and the nation is more evenly divided. But in a top-down society like Britain – and sadly Scotland is still absolutely British in this respect – the impact of professionals starting to consider and even openly endorse independence is huge. So David Martin is to be congratulated. It isn’t easy to set aside the beliefs of a lifetime and come out with a strong condemnation of Brexit Britain, an implicit condemnation of his own party’s leadership (north and south of the Border) and praise for the Scottish Government’s proposals to keep Scotland inside the single market if the rest of the UK quits.

Martin – a Labour MEP since 1984 – told fellow MEPs : “The [European] Council document calls for flexible and imaginative solutions to be found for Ireland. I agree but ask why not also for Scotland? The Scottish Government has put forward an imaginative and flexible solution for Scotland.

“It deserves serious consideration in this House. If the UK is not flexible in these talks, the UK will not only be leaving the European Union. The UK will cease to exist.”

Stay tuned for similar moments of revelation.

Just as international hostility and foreign indifference sapped the confidence of waverers in 2014, so Scotland’s positive image and high profile across the world today will encourage many influential No voters to reconsider their opposition to independence.

Worry about angering the Americans has also dropped way down the political agenda. Quite clearly, breathing and being alive on the planet is enough to anger President Trump on a bad day. So a tiny u-turn and a luke-warm invite to the self-styled leader of the free world will do just fine.

A wary Nicola Sturgeon is in good company these days and the Scots’ collective and instinctive dislike of everything Donald Trump represents has been vindicated.

International opinion is on the swing. And that’s Big Jim Dandy.