RIGHT now, Scotland’s Parliament is under attack from Westminster.

The UK Tory government is trampling over Scotland’s democracy and taking a sledgehammer to the devolution settlement.

Meanwhile, Labour have failed to take any real action to protect Holyrood, and their silence on the systematic dismantling of Scotland’s powers is deafening.

But the SNP are crystal clear that your Scottish Parliament belongs to you, the people of Scotland. Your democratic will must be respected and upheld at all times – no ifs, no buts, no maybes.

The Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) has been designed in conjunction with business to help keep our streets, parks and beaches in Scotland cleaner and litter-free.

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf: Rishi Sunak should rethink DRS glass exemption

But Westminster has decided to block decisions taken by the democratically elected Scottish Parliament and create a constitutional debate around the scheme.

This is certainly not the first time – and we know it won’t be the last time – that Westminster governments we didn’t vote for try to obstruct democracy in Scotland.

These Tory blockades imposed on Holyrood cannot be treated in isolation – they are part of a programme of attacks designed to shred Scotland’s constitutional rights within the United Kingdom.

On June 23, 2016, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the European Union.

Every single council area in the country rejected Brexit and almost two thirds of voters across Scotland voted to stay in the EU.

But that vote was completely ignored by Westminster, and Scotland was dragged out of Europe against its will – forced to deal with the catastrophic consequences of a hardline Tory Brexit.

The Tories used this shameful disregard of Scotland’s democratic will as the starting gun for a creeping Westminster power grab on our Parliament’s powers.

Brexiteers spoke about “taking back control” until they were blue in the face. Increasingly, we can see the Tories meant taking control of Scotland’s Parliament.

From the Internal Market Act to the use of Section 35, and the continual rejection of Scotland’s right to have a say on its own future, we have seen a barrage of attacks and power grabs from the Westminster establishment since Brexit.

In 1997, I campaigned to reconvene the Scottish Parliament and move decision-making on a number of key issues away from Westminster and closer to the people affected by government policy. Like three quarters of Scotland, I was proud to vote Yes Yes.

We know beyond any doubt that Holyrood has made Scotland fairer, greener and better countr – with progressive policies like equal marriage, free higher education and the creation of Social Security Scotland.

But the result of that resounding referendum is being unpicked in full view of the public by a Tory government – without the consent of the Scottish people.

The Tories, of course, never supported devolution in the first place and they fought hard against the Scottish Parliament every step of the way. A leopard can’t change its spots, as they say.

Only two months ago, a senior Tory and Brexiteer, Lord Frost, said the quiet part out loud and called for Westminster to “roll back” and “reverse” Scotland’s existing powers.

And let’s not forget, the bungling former prime minister Boris Johnson said openly during his time as prime minister that devolution is a “disaster”.

They simply can’t be trusted to protect Scotland democratic rights.

But sadly, nor can Keir Starmer’s pro-Brexit Labour party.

We haven’t heard a peep about the ongoing onslaught of power grabs from Sir Keir – or his man in Scotland, Anas Sarwar.

If Labour truly believed in defending Scotland’s Parliament, they would be standing alongside the SNP shoulder to shoulder on this issue.

Incredibly, it took the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, speaking out against the current constitutional attack to hear any position from Labour on this.

Labour is instead focused on extolling the virtues of a catastrophic Brexit and, like a stuck record, offering more empty promises to voters in Scotland.

In 2014, Gordon Brown promised Scotland would be “as close to a federal state as you can be”.

But instead of swallowing his words, Brown had the brass neck to offer voters more colourless constitutional promises that aren’t worth the paper they are written on during a speech last week.

What Labour fail to realise is that the people of Scotland don’t want unelected Tory governments gone for five years, 10 years or even 25 years. We want them gone for good.

And as long as we are under Westminster control, Scotland will continue to be at the mercy of UK governments that we did not vote for.

That is why becoming independent is essential. More so than ever before.

Our hard-fought democracy can only ever be fully protected with the full powers of independence.

Independence offers real change and the opportunity to get the parliament and government we vote for – not some of the time, but every time.

We can build a Scotland that tackles issues like the cost of living crisis head on, by creating a wellbeing economy that works in the interests of the workers – not big business.

That’s the vision that Humza Yousaf, and countless SNP activists across the country, are taking to voters on the doorsteps this weekend.

Under Humza’s leadership, the SNP Scottish Government will always stand up and defend Scotland’s democracy.

But ultimately, the only way to properly protect Scotland’s Parliament, and escape the chaos of this broken Westminster system, is with independence.