THERE’S been a lot of Second World War chat by Old Blighty nostalgists since that fateful referendum day when the balloon went up in June 2016.

They argue that a dash of the Blitz spirit, mixed in with thin moustachioed air pilots, farm gals, and good old Rule Britannia guts and gumption is all we need to get on with Brexit to Make Britain Great Again. Tally ho!

Of course, it’s all smoke and mirrors and rose-tinted mis-remembering. Anyone actually old enough to recall their real experience of the Second World War has been the most vocal in their rejection of Brexit, celebrating instead the wonderful links with Europe, the solidarity with nations, the importance of internationalism and an all-in-it-together attitude.

They also remember what actually came out of the war in Britain, the great re-ordering and revolution in how we cared about our citizens that became the welfare state and the NHS, when people, who had risked life and limb for our freedom, knew the difference between what was important and what was blatant self-interest.

The land fit for heroes never made it after the Great War, but 1945 ushered in a social revolution where post-war privation became a burden equally shared. I doubt very much that some of the biggest champions of Brexit, such as Nigel Farage and Michael Gove, could wrap their heads around the concept of changes for the greater good. What do they care? They will be cushioned from what is coming down the line for the “little” people due to their cavalier Brexit choices.

With just 29 days to go until we actually engage economic Brexit, we’ve still no idea if its deal or no deal. Whatever Johnson and his team actually manage to carve out of this last-minute scenario, it will be hard to tell the difference between a lacklustre and weak deal or leaving by the back door.

The National: Boris Johnson

We’re also going to discover that Brexit and the spirit we must summon to cope with it is nothing like the Second World War at all, except if you count food and medicine shortages and a major recession. Never have we been less all-in-it-together, with vast disparities in the wealthy and the poor compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

And all the while, the richest get richer and the disaster capitalist vultures are laughing all the way to their Swiss bank accounts.

Although most of us will be glad to see the back of 2020, the truth is 2021 will be no picnic either. As we celebrate Hogmanay in splendid social isolation, we’ll need to make it a double as we steel our nerves for the coming fury. Covid, Brexit, climate change; three self-inflicted wounds brought on by greed and a lack of care for nature and for our planet.

And so what is to be done in Scotland? How can we get out of the Britannia box?

As far as I’m concerned, there is only one choice – indeed, there has only ever been one choice, and that is independence.

I’m with my good friend and former colleague Joanna Cherry QC MP on this one. I’m not relying on Johnson suddenly having a massive personality change and granting a Section 30 order. I believe other avenues must be explored. Because for Scotland to realise her potential, we can’t be tethered to a backward-looking, insular, tired-out and inherently unequal UK.

And we can’t wait any longer for their permission to decide our future.

Now, it looks like more and more people in Wales are on the same page. I was delighted to hear Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, talk last weekend of refusing to be “footnotes” in history, with the “Welsh awakening ... catching up with the Scottish surge” and the Celtic nations coming together under one banner for independence.

He talked of devolution only taking us so far, that in order to truly transform and grow we must have the right to decide what shape our future will take where freedom is the key to flourishing for all. Scotland and Wales are exploring radical change as part of the pathway to independence. It’s good for the small and marginalised devolved nations to support each other and collaborate on hopes for change.

But to truly build back better and create wellbeing and equality as politicians so often sloganise, we’re going to need vision and strength to navigate the momentous changes ahead. In a world where the old reassurances and alliances are evolving at speed, fortune will favour the brave and only the brave.

Which brings me back to the quote on the front of the Beveridge report from 1942, with three long years still ahead of them of fighting for freedom from tyranny and fascism. It said: “Now, when the war is abolishing landmarks of every kind, is the opportunity for using experience in a clear field. A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is a time for revolutions, not for patching.”

Wise words. Listen up, Scotland and Wales.