IT'S only a couple of days since the First Minister announced her plans for a lawful vote on Scottish independence with or without Boris Johnson's permission and already Project Fear 2.0 has got underway. This time it's all new and improved, in that it's stupider, more hysterical and more desperate than during the last referendum.

And since the last indyref was graced by a claim that in an independent Scotland cars would have to switch to driving on the right, causing chaos at the border, and that the RAF might have to bomb Scottish airports in order to prevent Scotland being overrun by terrorists.

My favourite was the claim that after independence Scots would no longer be able to watch Eastenders or Doctor Who. The Doctor is an alien being who can cross space and time, can traverse galaxies and visit the very edge of the universe itself - but would be stymied by the border of an independent Scotland. For the purposes of clarity, I'd like to point out that I lived in Spain from 1998 until 2013, but never missed an episode of Doctor Who. I did miss all the episodes of Eastenders but that had nothing to do with not being able to receive the TV signal and everything to do with having had my fill of seeing London east enders shouting at one another and being miserable because I'd lived in the East End of London for most of the 1990s before moving to Spain.

READ MORE: Mick Lynch: Resist Westminster anti-trade union overreach in Wales

You can guess from this that the Project Fear stupid bar had already been set so low that by comparison even a tweet from Murdo Fraser would look like a treatise on ancient Greek philosophy written in actual ancient Greek. However, the starting pistol has only just been fired and British nationalism is already plumbing new depths.

First out the gates in the Oh naw ye cannae stakes was a claim described as a "blow to Nicola Sturgeon" that there's no such thing as a de facto referendum, so don't even think about trying to turn the next UK General Election into a vote on independence. This is what British nationalist indignation looks like when they realise that they are no longer able to dictate the course of events. It's certainly far more entertaining than either Eastenders or Doctor Who.

The assertion that there is no such thing as a de facto referendum rested upon the claim that the SNP cannot define the terms of a UK General Election, and this would be true. It would indeed be a "blow to Nicola Sturgeon" if that was what she was proposing to do. But the SNP has no intention of "defining the terms of the election" whatever that means exactly. Rather it is proposing to campaign on seeking a mandate from the people of Scotland for independence. That is perfectly lawful and they cannot be prevented from doing so. It's also a vote that the anti-independence parties cannot realistically boycott.

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

Given that this would only happen if the British Government continues to refuse a Section 30 order and the UK Supreme Court has ruled that Holyrood cannot implement the mandate for another referendum which it was given by the people of Scotland in last year's Scottish Parliament elections, it is striking that anti-independence commentators are markedly uncurious about what this means for the nature of Scottish democracy in the supposedly voluntary union that they are so insistent that Scotland remains a part of.

Yesterday the Brexit supporting Telegraph, which has paid Boris Johnson hundreds of thousands over the years to write lies about the EU, told us that if Scotland becomes independent we will no longer be able to order hampers from posh London grocers Fortnum and Mason. Oh, the very horror. Shed a tear for the poshos who are deprived of black truffles and English sparkling wine the next time you are perusing the special buys aisle in Aldi.

With support for independence neck and neck in the polls with opposition to it and a British state without any credible offer to make to the people of Scotland, we can look forward to many more ludicrous scare stories and despersate "naw ye cannaes" in the weeks and months ahead.