IT has been an emotional few days, though I struggle to remember when they were not! I had a great SNP conference in Aberdeen, three big speeches, four fringe meetings and countless media, even acting as Quiz Master for the SNP Students Conference Quiz! The party is in good heart, united and up for the cup. Internal elections are often bruising, as they should be, but now we put all that behind us and unite because we’re one SNP and we have a job to do.

I then hot-footed it to possibly my last week in Brussels and had yet another late-night European Council meeting where yet another late-night deal was struck by yet another embattled UK Prime Minister. I’m having deja vu on stilts!

I then left Brussels for a couple of days of campaigning in the Stirling constituency, which was a great distraction as so many people were literally watching the Westminster debates as we knocked their doors and were only too keen to talk about it all. Folk across Scotland are not buying the Tory spin – the idea that Mr Johnson’s flabby “deal” will “get Brexit done” is a flat lie. His text will guarantee we do nothing but Brexit for years. The best thing to do is scrap it altogether.

I then had my campaign launch at Stirling University on Sunday, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, depute leader and local MSP for Stirling University Keith Brown and council leader Scott Farmer all making excellent speeches. We had the best part of 250 folks there, not just SNP but Stirling for Europe, Women for Independence and Business for Scotland – I want to unite the Yes movement in Stirling behind our pro-EU banner. There was a great energy to the event and we’re raring to go. I’ve been blown away by just how up and at ‘em the SNP activists are. I hear from colleagues nationwide that what we’re seeing is not just isolated to us. There is a palpable shift to the SNP. Many traditional Tory voters are outright disgusted at the antics of their representatives at Westminster and are looking towards us or even the LibDems.

I then headed for possibly my last Strasbourg session, where I write this having just intervened in possibly my last debate. I started by praising President Tusk, who at least does know it was his last appearance in Parliament as his term of office ends soon. He has been a real voice of sense, a friend of Scotland and the UK in keeping the door open on Brexit and a true European. We’ll miss him.

But I went on to highlight the bad faith of those around the UK Government in their attitudes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Overnight, we saw very worrying moves with a Delegated Legislation Committee at Westminster stuffed with Government

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MPs approving ending the right of residence of EU nationals in the UK – self-employed and business owners. This is significant because it is before the text has even been ratified. EU nationals were told in advance of the referendum “nothing would change”. It’s changing now, before the text has even been ratified.

I then highlighted the joint letter from the Scottish and Welsh first ministers asking for more time to find solutions. You’d be forgiven for thinking everything in the Brexit universe revolves around Westminster, but the ratification process must also include, however tangentially, the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd, neither of whom have consented to this.

The National:

The fact is, there is no possible way Westminster could conclude proper ratification of this deal this week. I don’t dismiss the possibility they might pretend to, but the European Parliament is better than that. We should not lend the credibility of the Parliament or indeed of the Council to collude in such a shabby deception.

The only answer, colleagues, is more time. When the previous extension was agreed, President Tusk urged the UK not to waste the time, only to see the Tories comprehensively waste it in the most flagrant way possible. We need to do better, and colleagues at Westminster need to know that they should reject the utterly false choice being presented to them. It is not deal or no deal – there is the option to revoke, or indeed extend.

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It is obvious to the dugs in the street that an extension will be granted. I called for a year or more to give proper time for a referendum or General Election. The trouble with a referendum, which we are entirely open to of course, is who would be prime minister while the legislation was brought forward and who would the Government be while it was being campaigned on? The Tories? Boris Johnson? Jeremy Corbyn? Given the loose coalition can barely agree who would lead a government of national unity for a couple of days to get rid of Mr Johnson, I’d suggest there are some pretty big details in a referendum still to be worked out, but we’re open to working them out.

More likely, I suspect, is an election, which is why I put myself forward for Stirling. Scotland’s problems aren’t coming from Brussels or Strasbourg, they’re coming from Westminster. We have this argument to win and some really important ones on the horizon. We’ll win them by winning seats like Stirling, and by having fewer Tories.