HOW much more are we willing to take of this reckless and incompetent UK Government’s lack of clarity on Brexit?

We keep waiting for the Brexit tipping point, but no matter how extreme the leaver rhetoric, no matter how far-fetched or grossly incorrect their claims be, no matter how serious the implications, we still seem to be hurtling towards the cliff edge of March 29, 2019, with no hope of rescue.

READ MORE: Scottish Tory MPs defy Ruth Davidson to demand devastating Hard Brexit

Even the Dutch customs service is revving up for Brexit, employing up to a thousand new personnel. Only in the UK are the blind leading the bland like a collection of hapless hill walkers attempting to climb the Matterhorn.

Boris Johnson’s speech of last week was a masterclass in empty rhetoric. Correcting his school essays at Eton must have been a trial for any schoolmaster – attempting to identify the occasional island of sense from a vast ocean of flotsam and jetsam.

As for Theresa May’s appearance in Munich, her words rang hollow as the audience grew bored of yet more platitudes and trickled away from the auditorium before she’d even finished. In Scotland, Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson’s claims of Brexit progress collapsed like an overdone soufflé on Bake Off as the reality of her party’s continued fumbling became apparent.

READ MORE: Only SNP MPs show up to Scottish Affairs Committee meeting in Kirkcaldy

This was her first interview on the subject after scuttling underground with her Scottish Secretary when the horrendous reality of the Brexit impact studies on Scotland hit the fan.

Recent developments have taken an even more shocking turn, as Brexiteers from the two main parties at Westminster focus their bile on Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement. Their blind determination on Brexit threatens the very foundations of peace and prosperity in the North, with the possibility of a hard border into the South should the UK crash out of the EU with no deal.

A return to the dark days of the Troubles is surely unthinkable, and yet, in the pursuit of Brexit, nothing seems sacred.

The late and magnificent Mo Mowlam must be burlin’ in her grave to hear the likes of Labour MP Kate Hoey’s take on the GFA as “not sustainable”. How can Hoey, in her capacity as a representative of Labour, treat this agreement with such throw-away disdain, after everything her party did to nourish this extraordinarily successful cross-party treaty?

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney’s immediate tweeted retort that Brexiteers were “talking down the Good Friday Agreement because it raises serious and genuine questions ... is not only irresponsible but reckless and potentially undermines the foundations of a fragile peace process” is not only well justified but as grave a warning that can be given by the partner government.

Former Northern Irish Secretary, Conservative Owen Paterson, has also suggested that the GFA has “outlived its use”, followed shortly by his colleague, MEP Daniel Hannan, whose commentary on the “failure” of the GFA and the situation in Northern Ireland would have scored less than a D in his Higher history, as it was so full of gross inaccuracies, invented coalitions and an undercurrent of colonial arrogance.

We should have seen this coming of course. When Theresa May hopped into bed with the DUP last June to secure her position in Westminster, there was obviously going to be a risk in the change of UK Government position from independent arbitrator to coalition partner with uncompromising Unionism.

But in her desperation to secure power, May put all her worries on the back burner, signed a flamboyant cheque to pay for their friendship and stuck her head in the sand about the Irish border question. But try as she might, the PM can’t escape the repercussions. Prevarication before Christmas on the border issue nearly led to the collapse of Brexit talks with the Irish Government in Dublin. Then, her visit to Northern Ireland last week put a spanner in the works of what looked like being a final compromise and move forward on stalemate in Stormont.

Positive noises were emanating from talks between Sinn Fein and the DUP until the Union Jack Brexit roadshow hit town and the press launched a series of negative scare stories. It didn’t take much to tip the DUP back into protest mode, with hardliners seizing their chance to backpeddle on the Irish Language Act. DUP leader Arlene Foster, with the PM on speed-dial, called for direct rule from London, as a reaction to the collapse of consensus with Sinn Fein and the extreme Brexit brigade now see their chance to stir it up even more.

I wonder if Foster and May realise just how much they have in common? They are both being held to ransom by a small group of archaic male colleagues with an axe to grind, whose self-interest and extreme political stance blind them to the needs or realities of the people they represent.

It’s all the more poignant given that in just a few weeks, we will commemorate the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 20 years ago, on April 10, 1998. The culmination of tireless, painstaking negotiations, setbacks, compromises and finally a renewed understanding, it rose above a vast divide and brought peace to an extremely traumatised corner of the British Isles. It has been 20 years of peace, but never forget it followed 30 years of conflict.

Now the build-up to the commemorations and important events planned to mark this crucial turning point are overshadowed by looming dangers of a hard Brexit. It’s time for the PM and her chaotic government to set some new red lines in stone – devolution and democracy and sustained peace – before it’s too late.