EARLIER this week, in what was possibly the sweatiest political performance since Richard Nixon, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab presented the UK Government’s papers on dealing with a no-deal scenario.

Dominic went before the massed ranks of the press, telling us not to panic as the beads of sweat made his forehead shinier than the tin foil hats of a Brexiteers who’s convinced it’s all an EU plot, and he kept dabbing his upper lip nervously with a hankie.

Claims that food will have to be stockpiled is just a scare story put about by the pro-Remain media, he assured us all, it’s just medicines that will have to be stockpiled. So that’s OK then.

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Originally the plan had been to release each of the papers one by one to give the media and the public time to digest their contents, but the Government soon realised that was a more frightening scenario than discovering that you’re stuck on a long-haul flight in the seat next to a Daily Mail reader with halitosis and a drink problem. So instead, they dumped a third of them in one go, because that’s more like having a Daily Mail reader with halitosis and a drink problem fall on you from a great height. Three times.

Still, it’s a convenient distraction from the Defence Secretary’s plans to put artillery weaponry on tractors, because he’s terrified about the threat to British sovereignty from Brussel sprouts.

Since one of the key claims of the Brexiteers was that Brexit would abolish red tape and bureaucracy, the revelation that their dream is going to multiply it exponentially was always going to require careful news management. The British government had a well-thought-out plan to manage the news that they are making arrangements to stockpile medicines and introduce enough red tape to truss up a rampaging Brexitosaurus.

Which is one of those enormous creatures with a brain the size of a walnut, but with a far bigger sense of entitlement. It’s headed for extinction in Scotland as its diet of British exceptionalism is seriously threatened by political climate change.

The response of the UK Government was to send the Cabinet Office minister David Lidington to Scotland to assure us that a no-deal Brexit doesn’t make Scottish independence any more likely. Which is actually true, because independence is already pretty much nailed on. It’s not a question of if, but of when. Whether there’s a Brexit deal, no deal, or the whole thing is called off, it’s clear now that British governments don’t include Scotland’s interests in their calculations. Even the annual GERSmas festivities of North British mediocrity no longer have any great power.

The documents released this week detail the scale of the national humiliation facing the UK. It’s a long fall from assurances that Britain would be bestriding the globe like a free-trade buccaneer to contingency plans for stockpiling medicines, VAT on parcels from your auntie in Spain, and not being able to take your cat on holiday. The documents were described as comprehensive by the Government, but they did omit certain vital pieces of information, such as the fact that you won’t be able to drive any further south than mid-Kent because the M20 will have been turned into a lorry park. Every section carried the caveat, except for readers in Northern Ireland, because it’s pretty clear that the UK Government has as much of a clue about how to solve the question of the Irish border as Jacob Rees-Mogg has about Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s marital issues.

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Buried away in the section concerning human tissue importation for medical purposes, the paper informs us that the UK is an importer of sperm for donation, much of which is sourced in Denmark. After a no-deal Brexit, the importation of sperm is going to be a lot more difficult until such time as an agreement is reached between the UK and EU regulatory authorities. In order to make up any shortfall, the UK may have to produce more of its own.

Which means that this Conservative government is actually telling us that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK is going to need more w***kers. And there you were thinking that the only reason we’re in this mess in the first place is because there are already so many of them in the Conservative Party and the right-wing press.

The British government can spin things any way it likes, but it doesn’t change the reality that a no-deal Brexit is likely to cost Scotland £12.7 billion in its GDP, a loss of around 80,000 jobs, and a reduction in real disposable income of 9.6%. This is worse than the worst-case scenarios in an independent Scotland that were being touted by opponents of independence in 2014, while at the same time they promised us that only a No vote could ensure that Scotland remained an EU member. The thousands of pages of British government papers on a no-deal Brexit are just so much sticking plaster on a gaping wound, a wound that will be the final death knell of this disunited kingdom.