SUPPORT for Scottish independence has taken another positive turn, with the latest Ipsos MORI poll indicating that 55% of people believe that independence is the path they wish for our country to take.

Four out of five people polled said they were dissatisfied with Boris Johnson’s performance as a leader. From Tory cuts to the poorest in society, to the constant attacks on the vulnerable and minorities, the writing should really be on the wall for this Union.

Nicola Sturgeon reaffirmed at SNP conference last weekend that we are working towards an independence referendum in 2023. The First Minister has said that next year she will bring forward legislation to initiate the process for an independence referendum in 2023. In spring 2022 – Covid permitting – we need to get our positive message out there and convince undecided voters that Scotland should be an independent country.

The SNP group at Westminster takes a lot of flak these days for simply being in London. Whilst the pandemic still envelops everyday life, I can understand the public frustration at more than 500 MPs travelling from each corner of the UK each week. Again, this only brings into focus the importance of our political decisions. The UK has allowed itself to be governed by people who think that you should have to wear a mask, but they shouldn’t. People who think you should have to follow rules and obey the law, but they don’t. People who will happily funnel millions of pounds of the public’s money to their unqualified friend, and in the same breath, tell you we can’t afford to give the poorest people an extra £20 a week. People who proudly want to rid us of the Human Rights Act but insist there is no reason to worry.

INTERACTIVE MAP: What's independence support like in my area?

I have been a member of the UK Parliament since 2015 and my feelings have unfortunately only intensified. Westminster is dysfunctional, feigns democracy, and harbours some of the most dangerous and daft opinions in equal measure. There are those who go to great lengths to remind us how unwelcome the SNP are. What they ignore is the fact that we want to be there as much as they want us there. I hope I never fight another Westminster election, because I hope this job ceases to exist. I hope the Scottish Parliament will represent us on the world stage as an independent nation. Until that day, there is a job to be done.

Earlier this week, my constituency office recorded our 20,000th case. Casework does not get spoken about often enough, but it is by far the most important work of every MP. I regularly deal with constituents who have been mistreated by this UK Government and are at the end of their tether. Whether it is disastrous welfare policies or mismanaged immigration issues, we are always kept busy trying to fix the damage this Government inflicts on people.

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Whilst being an SNP MP undoubtedly restrains what real, practical change you can affect, it would be wrong to suggest that the role is in any way pointless. Therefore, it is deflating to see independence supporters suggest that I and my colleagues are wasting our time.

The SNP have been the consistent opposition to the Tories for the last six years. In constantly being on the backs of consecutive Tory governments, we force them to display exactly how out of touch they are, and how little they understand, or really care, for Scotland. We are only one of the many lighthouses of the Yes movement trying to build trust and guide people towards a better Scotland.

In 2023 we will have our chance to fix the biggest, most glaring piece of casework we have. No longer will we have to highlight the shortcomings of the Scotland Office, the DWP, the Home Office or any other mismanaged UK Government department. No longer will distraught constituents have to go to MPs after being chewed up and spat out by this disgusting system we have in the UK. We will be able to make our own decisions, protect those that need it the most and implement our own welfare policies and immigration rules as a progressive independent nation.