OF all the political slogans I have heard over what is coming on for 50 years of political activism, the most dishonest by far is the current Tory mantra: “Get Brexit done.”

This is the line that has already been peddled again and again by the Prime Minister as he sought to bludgeon and bully not just the House of Commons but also his own party into supporting a deal even worse than the one negotiated by his predecessor.

It is the line that a succession of self-satisfied, backward-looking and insufferably arrogant Tory MPs – all men, admittedly – used on Tuesday as the bill to set an election date finally made its way through the archaic procedures of the House of Commons.

And it is the line that will be trotted out on platforms and in leaflets, online and in the media, the length and breadth of Scotland for the next six weeks by any and every Conservative candidate.

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Yet the stark reality is this. The only way to get Brexit done is to give Brexit up. If Brexit survives this election then the awful, destructive, nerve-wracking business of cliff-hanger after cliff-hanger resulting from an utterly unrealistic, jingoistic and imperialist view of the UK’s importance and clout won’t be over – it will have barely begun.

Journalists in particular need to get much wiser to the inherent dishonesty of the slogan. It was heartening to see a TV interviewer on Wednesday totally demolishing Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, about the bogus Tory promise to put 20,000 more police on the streets, his party in goverment actually having cut 21,000 over the past few years.

But such scepticism needs to hone in now on Brexit itself and all the false claims made over the past 40 months, including the one about when it comes to an end.

The timetable that would follow a Johnson election victory is clear, even if its eventual outcome isn’t. In January the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would be passed at Westminster, the EU would heave a sigh of relief about getting rid of an increasingly unwelcome and offensive member and the formal transition period would start on the 1st of February with the UK now a third country but still observing all the EU rules until a final new trade and organisational relationship is finalised.

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By July, if it is clear that this cannot be completed by the end of December 2020 (and little is more certain given that the EU-Canada trade deal took seven years and the EU-Japan deal six), then a Johnson government could request an extension of up to two years.

Yet winks and nods from Brexiteer Tory Cabinet ministers are already suggesting that a No Deal at that stage might be preferred, as it would let them undermine our employment and human rights and trash our food and environmental protections, all in the interest of grabbing any trade deal with the US they could get.

To add to the mix, any new negotiations with the EU will be far more difficult than those just concluded. The withdrawal agreement was always meant to be the easy bit of the Brexit process – the much more complex attempt to find a new trade deal will pit an inexperienced and ideologically blinkered UK team against the best trade bargainers in the world.

Far from being over, the mess would get worse. Brexit wouldn’t be done for years.

Scotland however has a clear route out. It goes without saying that we should support any attempt to give the people of the whole of the UK a chance to reconsider Brexit by means of a second referendum.

But in the end we cannot tell the people of England what to do. We have no more right to force them to stay in the EU than they have to drag us out of it.

For if the political parties that oppose Brexit south of the Border – and Labour seem still on the fence – cannot defeat the Tories and Brexit, then we are not in a position to do that for them.

So in this election there is a crystal-clear message for all our fellow Scottish citizens. The only permanently successful way to escape Brexit forever is to choose independence.

That is Scotland’s lifeboat, and it is not only seaworthy, but ready to be launched. What is needed now is for the people of Scotland to tell the UK Prime Minister – and the world – that they must be allowed to choose it.