REALITY-DENYING prime minister candidates lacerate their own credibility by announcing to the world that the Dover queues are unconnected to Brexit, while Gordon Brown is yet again to advise how to maintain Scotland’s role as colony. So this seems a good time to remind ourselves that straight-in-your-face lying from Westminster dates from 2014 and its response to the movement for Scottish independence.

The good news is that next time, Westminster’s representatives will have little impact whenever they speak, because the sense of authority they possessed at the start of 2014 has, by their own actions, totally evaporated. Nobody will believe them, their love-bombing agents, their promises, vows, or their threats.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak vows to 'drive down support for Scottish independence'

Today’s – again, deceitful – exploitation of the “once-in-a-generation” statement cannot hold for long. So, in readiness for a referendum on Scottish independence, the UK Government has calculated that keeping Britain outside the customs union and single market (Northern Ireland is collateral damage) will diminish the appeal of independence in Scotland. The plan would be to rejoin following an anticipated No vote to independence which BBC Scotland is in perpetual training to deliver.

Given their alignment with the Conservatives, Westminster’s other two big parties seem to be in on the act – agreeing to prioritise damaging the UK’s economy and its exporting traders so as not to “lose” Scotland with its financial, energy and water resources.

Westminster is uninterested in Scotland, but they do not want “their” country to become smaller. And this dismal Johnson era has proven yet further that it regards Scotland as an irritation to be disciplined and suppressed; as well as being its own resource to exploit at will, irrespective of Scotland’s priorities.

Professor Aonghus MacKechnie