THE concept which underlies the position of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is that the holder of the office is the Primus Inter Pares, the first among equals in a Cabinet of ministers which has a collective responsibility for governing the four countries which make up the current Union.

We now know that Scotland is very much Secundus and we are not Pares at all. For with her decision yesterday to stop giving First Minister Nicola Sturgeon direct access to No. 10, Scotland finally and absolutely knows that this country is not now, and never has been, an equal partner in a family of nations, as was so often repeated by the Better Together campaign prior to the independence referendum in September, 2014.

READ MORE: First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon told that Theresa May is too important to meet with her

Every day there is more and more evidence that Scotland is not to be treated as an equal partner even in the negotiations over Brexit which this country voted 62 per cent to 38 per cent to reject.

Even as the Daily Mail was breaking the news that May was going to tell the First Minister that in future she could debate issues with David Mundell, conflicted Scotsman Michael Gove – no lover of this paper, and thank goodness for that – was giving a speech on the future of the environment in the UK which did not even mention the simple fact that the environment is a devolved matter and he will need to work with the Scottish Parliament to get any joint agreements on future environmental matters. Such arrogance, such ignorance.

It is instructive that the story on the Sturgeon Snub, as we must call it, was leaked to the Daily Mail, which quoted one Tory minister as saying: “She will no longer get the same access to the Prime Minister. She should be meeting David Mundell because he is at the same level as her.”

For May’s decision is all about politics and appeasement. She knows that it plays well to the Tories and Daily Mail readers that she should insult Scotland’s First Minister who is a politician with the sort of integrity that May can only dream of. We must conclude that with this calculated and frankly miserable slap in Scotland’s face, May has decided once and for all that the Scots will be told what to do and be expected to adhere to her ‘Brexit means Brexit, whatever the cost’ mantra. That decision brings the end of the 210-year-old Union even closer.

Here’s one idea: why doesn’t First Minister Sturgeon use the occasion of this insult to her and the Scottish people to call the bluff of the beleaguered May and name the date for the second independence referendum for which she has a democratic mandate backed by the Scottish Parliament. It would then be up to Theresa May, or more likely her successor, to either block that referendum outright or convince the Scottish people that Brexit will work for us all as equals, a concept to which the Conservative and Unionist Party is a stranger.