SO the hurly burly’s done, and the election’s lost and won. What a rollercoaster! We had an amazing campaign in Stirling, and indeed nationwide, and a result that will shape the future for many years to come.

I won Stirling with an amazing 51% of the vote, and cannot praise, or thank, the team in Stirling SNP enough. I remember the SNP National Executive meeting just after the EU referendum where I held up a map of the UK vote showing just how clearly different Scotland is, and said I think this is going to deliver our independence. We now have another map to add to it.

Scotland voted to stop Brexit and indeed endorsed a party that was quite explicit about being pro-independence and that Scotland should have a right to choose. The Tories had little else to their nasty, negative and hectoring campaign but “No to indyref2” and the voters emphatically rejected them in our favour.

But, where I’m elated about Stirling and delighted about the nationwide result, a pall hangs over everything because in my heart of hearts I now accept we’re not going to stop Brexit.

That’s because of events elsewhere beyond our control. And I really wanted to stop Brexit. I’ve devoted the last three and a bit years to trying. I think it will turn to a more useful anger, but for the moment I’m just very down about it and things look pretty bleak. I stood in Stirling to try help stop Brexit, because I thought that in a hung parliament, or even a government with a narrow majority, a second EU referendum was a plausible way out for everyone, even the Tories, and the status quo versus Johnson’s deal was eminently winnable, even in England.

The National: Boris Johnson

But that is now a forlorn hope of a path not travelled. I, the SNP and Scotland delivered everything we could have done, but because of events elsewhere, I’ve failed before I could start. I had an amazing victory but still somehow feel I’ve let a lot of people down. I don’t know what else we could have done.

I’m already in London, at Westminster, the one Parliament I don’t want to have anything to do with Scotland, facing the prospect of the hated, dreadful Withdrawal Agreement being rammed through the House of Commons later this week while I watch helpless.

I don’t know how I’ll feel. I don’t know how a lot of people will feel. Johnson will soon be exposed as a liar, again. His dreadful deal will in no sense get Brexit done, it will start an even more bitter argument over what comes next. My 16 years in the European Parliament will, I hope, be of use in that discussion. The Tories will be fighting like ferrets in a sack soon enough and we’ll be there to maximise Scotland’s influence. Given the state of Labour and the LibDems, I think the only effective opposition to the Tories will be us.

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But where I’ll harry this awful UK Government at Westminster, Stirling and Scotland will be my focus. At home, we still need to build the case for independence and think of ways for the SNP to provide the backbone of the wider Yes movement to reach the folks we can’t. I’m very conscious, and have said so publicly repeatedly, that it is obvious that a number of folks loaned us a vote and are not with us on independence. We need to be careful, gentle and respectful of that. They’ve voted SNP so I take them to be open to a conversation, and that will be our challenge. Equally, a lot of folks are looking at the map of the UK and desperate to know more about independence as the way back to the European mainstream as the UK heads in a bad direction. We need to build a coalition.

I’ve demitted office as MEP, which will be an emotional process as I wind things down in Brussels and prepare for handover to Heather Anderson as my replacement. Heather is a great candidate, a bright, hard-working farmer and already a well-respected councillor in the Borders. She’ll take over my agriculture committee place and shine. I fear, given the Tory majority at Westminster, that will be something of a row, but we cannot allow the Tories to silence our voice in Europe, for however short a time remains.

And for the rest of us, we need to find ways to maintain our links with the EU and member state capitals, and smooth our process back into the EU so there are no cracks in the case. There will not be, I’ll make sure there isn’t.

More and more people, having seen us genuinely try everything to stop Brexit for the whole of the UK, are more and more convinced that independence is the best future for us. Let’s keep them coming.