LEAVING the EU in the way they did meant the Tories had to invent all sorts of terms to give a veneer of credence to their ideological twists and turns.

The Canada Plus, the Norway Minus, the Backstop, the Malthouse Compromise, the Meaningful Vote, and so many other linguistic innovations as they tried to dig themselves however temporarily out of a hole they had made for themselves, usually only to tumble headlong into another.

Later today, the House of Commons will vote on another couple, the “Stormont Brake” of the “Windsor Framework”.

Much as I don’t like how we’ve come to be here, I hope the latest attempt to smooth over the lumps and bumps in Northern Ireland will pass.

Obviously it is not that simple, it is a Schrodinger’s vote where rejecting it will not stop the process, whilst accepting it doesn’t mean accepting the whole framework (as one commentator so aptly surmised).

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I’ve already spoken plenty of times on the Northern Ireland Protocol, the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and the Windsor Framework, so I’ll be brief about what today’s vote is about.

Essentially, it is a vote on the Stormont Brake of the Framework, which allows the Northern Irish Assembly to flag concerns over future European legislation under certain circumstances, given that the Northern Ireland Protocol ensures that Northern Ireland will effectively remain part of the EU Single Market and subject to the EU’s future legislation.

If 30 assembly members from two or more parties object to new EU legislation then it can, on paper at least, be paused in Northern Ireland.

This then begins a process of negotiation with London and Brussels, after which the UK Government can then either back the objection and veto the legislation’s application in Northern Ireland at the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

What happens then is anyone’s guess.

But, such a veto can only happen when the new EU law would have a “significant impact specific to everyday life” so it is not entirely a blank cheque and will be tested soon enough. But the big picture is that Northern Ireland benefits from access to the UK and EU markets and gives Northern Irish legislators a say over which laws apply to them.

Given the recent difficulties post-Brexit, there is broad agreement across the UK parties for this deal.

The vote itself is rather unusual, being only a vote on part of a deal that is going to be implemented regardless. Yet, after Boris’s bluster and Truss’s nonsense, the UK has partially realised that geography matters in world politics.

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As such, when the only people likely to oppose it are the DUP and ultra-Brexiteers who think you can live on sovereignty alone; I think that alone makes it clear why we’re voting the way we are.

Inevitably though, it shows once again why the EU’s single market is so good for all of us.

I am delighted for the people of Northern Ireland that they have managed to remain in the EU single market – I just wish Scotland had too.

As I wrote just a few weeks ago though, if Northern Ireland gets this benefit, then why can’t Scotland?

England and Wales voted for Brexit and got Brexit. Northern Ireland voted to Remain and gets access to both the EU and UK markets. And Scotland, which voted more for the EU than any other UK nation, gets screwed over.

How is this fair or democratic?

Indeed, we’re in a surreal position where our case for independence is being echoed by the UK Government. The Prime Minister has said “Northern Ireland is in the unique position, not just in the United Kingdom but in the entire continent of Europe, of having privileged access to two markets.”

Meanwhile, when the Chancellor stood up to deliver his Budget, he said: “Independence is always better than dependence.” Welcome to the cause, Mr Sunak and Mr Hunt!

Scotland’s independence in Europe is what will put rocket boosters on our economy whilst the UK’s flatlines. Instead of having to simply accept UK diktats, we will have a meaningful say in the laws which shape not only our lives but the lives of nearly 500 million of our fellow European citizens.

Scotland, as the newest member of the EU, will have double the representation of MEPs than it had as part of the UK and a seat at the top table in the Council of Ministers.

And a Scottish politician, from whichever party the solely Scottish electorate has voted for, will be part of the European Commission which proposes EU legislation.

No longer at the mercy of UK Government ministers who can override devolution on a whim, we will be part of a consensual union of 27 other member states working together to build a better Scotland and a better Europe.

And with access to the single market, we can help our industries and businesses not only survive but thrive. Northern Ireland will have a preferential situation if this framework holds, but Scotland as a member of the European Union will have even better.

My colleagues and I will continue to make this case on a day-to-day basis because I believe that we will see that day come yet.