BORIS Johnson’s response to the suggestion he should transfer the power to call a new independence referendum to the Scottish Government was as predictable as it was depressing.

His refusal to countenance such a referendum in the foreseeable future calls into question his commitment to and understanding of democracy.

We have referred before to the Vow in 2014, which was not – as some of our critics have suggested – merely a newspaper headline. It was a solemn promise signed by the main Unionist party leaders and they had a responsibility to keep it.

It promised a new era for the Union, with more real powers for Scotland, which would henceforth be treated as an equal partner. The spirit of that promise has not only been ignored, it now reads like a joke.

We now find ourselves in a position where our wishes on EU membership have been ignored and where the Westminster government denies us a vote on our constitutional future. So much for equality.

We now look to the other UK parties – to Labour and to the LibDems – to stand up for democracy and support the SNP in its demand for indyref2. Instead, we see again how little Labour politicians understand the current position, with the reappearance of Gordon Brown, who will tomorrow once again “warn” the UK that it must fundamentally change to keep Scotland within it.

We have lost count how many times Gordon Brown has made such a plea and how many times it has fallen on deaf ears. He has argued before that the Vow was kept after the 2014 vote and then that it was not. The days when his

vision of a federal British state would meet Scotland’s aspirations are long gone, even if the Boris Johnson government would agree to it, which it would not.

If Gordon Brown has not fully grasped the precarious situation Scotland now finds itself in, his party must do what the majority of its members want and stand alongside the SNP and demand a return to democracy.