BACK in 2014, if supporters of independence had warned that Scotland needed to vote Yes because if we remained a part of the UK, the government would have to make contingency plans for stockpiling food and medicines, and that there were plans for the army to distribute food and medicines to vulnerable communities, we’d have been ridiculed and mocked by a Better Together campaign whose main selling point was the supposed safety and stability of the UK. But that is exactly where we are now.

The UK Government is making contingency plans to stockpile food and medicines in case Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal. There are reports that plans have been made to call in the army to ensure that vital food, fuel and medicines reach those that the government deems most in need.

The government tells us that we are supposed to be reassured by all this, even though it turns out that they’ve not actually done anything concrete to prepare.

This is indeed reassuring, in much the same way that an airbag manufacturer tells us that we can be reassured by their product even though it’s not installed in the vehicle in which we’re travelling. The Brexit bus, however, is still going to plunge off the cliff and is heading for a hard landing. So yeah, that’s reassuring, in the same way that Theresa May is empathetic and human.

The just-in-time policies operated by our major supermarkets mean that supply chains are highly susceptible to disruption. The extra waiting time at ports caused by a no-deal Brexit will have a massive knock-on effect further down the supply chain.

This is a serious issue in a UK which imports most of its food and much of its medicines. Although the British Government tells us that it is making contingency plans, in reality the Conservatives, with their fetishisation of the market, are relying on private companies to do the stockpiling. The problem is that they have no space in which to stockpile.

Back in 2014, if independence supporters had warned that if we stayed in the UK, the Edinburgh Festival would be under threat, there would have been more laughs at our expense than you find at the Perrier Awards for comedy.

Many of the artists and performers who appear at the festival come from EU countries, and currently enjoy free movement into the UK to appear and perform. That will all change after Brexit when performers may have to apply for visas and work permits. The festival is a huge part of Edinburgh’s economy, and attracts thousands of visitors, many of whom also visit other parts of Scotland.

Back in 2014, if independence supporters had claimed that if Scotland voted No, supplies of cheese and onion crisps would dry up, there would have been incredulity. Yet just this week we learned that crisp manufacturers are preparing for a national shortage of cheese if there is a hard Brexit. Hard Brexit, but no hard cheese.

Meanwhile there’s a shortage of onions thanks to the hot summer, and imports of vegetables could also be threatened by a no-deal Brexit. There are a lot of things many of us would be prepared to put up with, but even the threat to democracy posed by Brexit and the dysfunction of the British political system is as nothing compared to the prospect of not being able to munch on a bag of crisps.

The list of problems and issues facing the UK just gets longer and longer. They are even more surreal than the dire threats made by the Better Together campaign back in 2014 to scare Scotland into remaining a part of the UK.

Food shortages, medicine shortages, power cuts and the great cheese and onion crisp famine. And all this is happening because Scotland voted in 2014 to surrender control of its destiny to a parliament in Westminster controlled by politicians who know little about us and who care even less.

From vows that we’d be equal and valued partners, promises that Brexit would deliver us to sunny uplands of free trade, now we’re down to assurances that there will be adequate food, and even those aren’t believable.

Opponents of independence have now been reduced to claiming that if Scotland votes for independence we’ll be out of the UK and out of the EU. It’s an argument born of desperation, created out of the ruins of a British state that has nothing positive left to offer Scotland. The truth is that if Scotland votes for independence we will be able to find a way out of the mire created for us by Westminster’s Brexit obsessionists.

Remaining in the UK means remaining in the mess forever, with no way out, dependent like Blanche Dubois on the kindness of strangers. Only these are strangers who’ve never demonstrated much in the way of kindness before.

An independent Scotland could rejoin the EU within a remarkably short space of time if it chose to. An independent Scotland could rejoin the customs union and the single market pretty much immediately upon independence.

But most importantly of all, an independent Scotland with a focus on social wellbeing and a commitment to public services would ensure that it’s not the weak and the vulnerable who suffer the effects of being cut off from the EU. The Tories in the UK are certainly not going to do that.

All the positive reasons for remaining a part of the UK have been destroyed by partisans of Britishness themselves. All that they have left is the scare story that independence would make a bad situation even worse, but by making that argument they are already acknowledging that Scotland within the UK is in a bad situation.

What they’re not doing is offering any way out of this mess other than to urge Scotland to keep trusting in the people who got us into the mess in the first place, people who have shown not the slightest indication that they are interested in listening to Scotland’s needs or concerns.

Moreoever, these are people who are determined to use the mess that they have created in order to further weaken Scotland and undermine the devolution settlement.

Even if the Conservatives do manage at the last minute to swerve away from catastrophe, we have no guarantees that they won’t take us to disaster a few years down the line.

That’s not a very convincing or plausible reason for remaining a part of the UK, but it’s the best opponents of independence have got.

This is where we are now, not in 2014 any more. That’s why the next independence vote will result in an independent Scotland.