PRESSURE for Scotland to have its say on the ongoing galactogutter that is the Brexit process is growing. Nicola Sturgeon has announced that in a few weeks she will make a statement about the timing of another independence referendum and hopes are high within the grassroots movement that the Scottish Government will press for an early vote.

So it’s time for those of us who believe in Scottish self-determination to ensure that we’re ready, and that we have answers to the arguments that our opponents are likely to use. And that means being more ready than simply raising our eyes to the skies and sighing “Oh for God’s sake”, even though some of the arguments used against us amount to little more than playground temper tantrums.

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British nationalists have had to shift the fitba posts quite a lot since 2014. Many of the arguments that were trotted out against independence during the first Scottish independence referendum have since been shot down in flames by British nationalists themselves. They can no longer tell us that voting for independence means voting to leave the EU, because British nationalism has forced us to leave it. They can no longer insist that voting for independence means voting for a parochial and xenophobic inward looking nationalism, because that’s Brexit.

They can no longer assure us that Scotland is an equal and valued partner in a family of nations with a seat at the top table, because we’ve all seen how Scotland was marginalised and ignored during the Brexit process. And they can no longer pretend that voting against independence means voting for stronger and better devolution, because the British Government has used Brexit as an excuse to unilaterally undermine the devolution settlement.

The difficulties of British nationalism have been brought on by British nationalists themselves. Hell slap it intae them, as your mammy would doubtless say.

Because they’ve trashed all their old arguments, British nationalists have had to come up with some new ones. So we’ve heard a lot recently about the UK single market and how independence means leaving it.

Apparently this UK single market is vital to the Scottish economy, but it wasn’t so vital that any opponent of independence felt the need to mention it in 2014, when they were too busy telling us that independence meant leaving the EU. A search on Google trends proves that with the exception of a few stray mentions, British nationalists only started talking about the UK single market after the UK had voted to leave the EU.

In any case it’s a spurious argument, seeking to draw a false equivalence between the internal market of the unitary state of the UK, and the very real single market negotiated and agreed between the member states of the EU. Every member state has a say in negotiating the terms and conditions of the EU single market and on some matters they have a veto. The unitary market of the UK is a creature of the tax and spend policies of the Government in power in Westminster, a government in which Scotland is represented by David Mundell who hasn’t resigned yet.

David stands up for Scotland in the same way that a hedgehog stands up to a lorry on the A9. Although it’s worse than that, as no one could accuse the hedgehog of being spineless.

With the continuing descent of the Brexit process into chaos and confusion, a new argument against independence has reared its head. It’s an argument so breathtaking in its stupidity that it appears to have become a favourite of Wullie Rennie, who tells it to everyone on the number 17 bus to Kelty.

This argument goes that Brexit has shown how difficult it is to leave a union. So if it’s hard to leave the recent political construct that is the EU, then just imagine how hard it must be to leave the 300-year-old union between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

This argument is another example of British nationalist word-play. It has the same intellectual heft as the assertion that the SNP is exactly the same as the Nazis because both have nat in their name. It’s like saying that a polar bear is exactly the same as a stuffed toy teddy bear because both are called bear. One is a fearsome beast that’s the top predator in the Arctic, the other represents Scotland in the British Cabinet. Brexit was always going to be difficult because no state has ever left the EU before and there is no roadmap for doing so.

However Brexiteers themselves have complicated the issue even further by making unrealistic demands and having unrealistic expectations. The reality is that the reason that leaving the EU has proven so difficult is because the Brexiteers are in thrall to the dream of British exceptionalism. Brexit is driven by a deep-seated conviction that Britain is special, that the world is queueing up to offer the UK favourable trade deals, that it is possible to maintain an entirely open and invisible border with one part of the EU, Ireland, but at the same time to diverge in trading standards, human rights, and close down freedom of movement of people.

Brexit is so difficult because it’s the pursuit of the impossible.

That difficult pursuit has only been confused by inept and arrogant negotiations from a British Government whose main concern has been to negotiate with factions within the Conservative party instead of negotiating with the EU. It’s scarcely any wonder that Brexit negotiations have been such a disaster. But that doesn’t mean that they are in any way an analogy for Scottish independence negotiations.

The route to independence is a well trodden path. Many dozens of countries have become independent within the past few decades. The country which is currently causing Brexiteers so many problems with Brexit is one which itself became independent from the UK in 1922 – Ireland.

Scotland’s government has a clear idea of what it seeks to achieve from independence. It seeks the same as any other small northern European nation. The ability to form alliances while speaking with our own voice. The ability to reach out to the rest of the world while being true to ourselves.

It means Scotland should have a government that is answerable and accountable to the people of Scotland.

The real reason that Scottish independence will be easier to achieve is because unlike Brexit’s basis in British exceptionalism, Scottish independence is the assertion of Scottish normalcy.