THE past week of continued Brexit chaos in Westminster has once again shown that Scotland’s interests are being ignored and sidelined. Theresa May, the ERG, and the DUP hold no mandate in Scotland, yet they are in the driving seat and think they can define our future.

The last few weeks have been unprecedented. The shambles that is the British establishment is on stage for the entire world to witness and Westminster has become a laughing stock. More Tory Ministers resigning, a cabinet in chaos, a Prime Minister voting against her own party motion, it is a farce and it is dangerous.

The Tories have forgotten what a functioning government means. Instead of governing in the interests of all parts of the UK and its citizens, this crumbling Tory Government is acting in its own narrow party political interests.

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Theresa May has been consumed by the venom of the extreme Brexiteers in her ranks, distracted from the job of leading the country, this Prime Minister cannot even lead her own party.

The internal Tory civil war has pushed Westminster to an impasse of the Prime Minister’s own making. Twice her disastrous deal has been heavily defeated in Parliament and yet she is intent on dragging it back through the voting lobbies for a third time.

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Theresa May is showing utter contempt for democracy, but should we be at all surprised? This is after all the very same Prime Minister that has side-lined Scotland throughout the whole Brexit process, attempted to run down the clock, plunged businesses into uncertainty, and has failed to engage with efforts to bring the chaos to an end.

It is now beyond doubt that there is no such thing as a good Brexit. Economic analysis has shown that Brexit will cost thousands of jobs in Scotland, hit people’s livelihoods and strip away their rights.

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I have been fortunate enough to live and work in the EU, my son has also been able to enjoy those rights, but this Tory Government is intent on taking away those rights from my grandchildren and future generations across Scotland and the UK.

It is clear that at this Brexit crossroad, the best and most democratic way forward is to put the decision back to the people through a second EU referendum – with the option of Remain on the ballot paper.

The Prime Minister will make her third attempt to sell her dead deal to Parliament, it reeks of hypocrisy to say that the public should be shut out from a say and a vote.

The SNP has consistently led efforts to try and win support for a second EU referendum in Parliament to allow people the right to reject this damaging and devastating Brexit.

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Next week I will be meeting with cross-party MPs from the Greens, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats to discuss how best we can advance with those plans.

Cross-party efforts are crucial in building consensus and finding common ground in order to protect our economic and social interests.

OVER the past two years the SNP has been involved in those cross-party efforts, however, time and time again, Jeremy Corbyn has rejected calls to work with us to halt Theresa May’s plans in its tracks.

The so-called Leader of the Opposition has instead turned his back on those talks and allowed the UK to be dragged to this stage. But it is not too late.

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Yesterday, the SNP – along with other opposition parties – wrote to Jeremy Corbyn to ask him to come to the table and help us end this Brexit madness and push forward with plans to secure a second EU referendum.

The door is open – and after more than two years, Jeremy Corbyn needs to get off the fence and work with us.

The clock is ticking down – we are now less than two weeks away from the date set for leaving the EU and Westminster is in deadlock.

An extension to Article 50 must be the priority and Theresa May must immediately take steps to secure that extension.

Next week, MPs will be voting on further crucial Brexit votes and the SNP’s priorities are clear – we will not allow the Tory Government’s disastrous Brexit plans to be imposed on Scotland, and we will not allow Scotland’s future to be dictated by 10 DUP MPs.

If we are to secure an extension to Article 50 the European Union needs to know why.

It is clear that the EU will not grant an extension for extensions sake, there must be a purpose.

The Tory Government cannot be allowed to kick the can further down the road and that means that MPs across Parliament must work together to secure that extension in order to facilitate a second public vote.

In Scotland, we know that minds are changing as the catastrophic consequences of Brexit become clearer. The recent polls have shown that the case for independence is now stronger than ever. Scotland did not vote for Brexit and we should not be dragged out of the EU against our democratic will.

All the economic evidence shows that Brexit will be bad for the economy and jobs. Retaining our EU membership is the only way to safeguard jobs, public services and mutual rights that we have enjoyed for decades.

Westminster is broken and it is failing Scotland, and with each day that passes it is becoming clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect our interests is with independence. Theresa May and the Tories might be prepared to go down with the sinking ship – but Scotland will be ready for the lifeboat.