WESTMINSTER politicians and the Westminster-centric media like to assume that Brexit is a done deal, a foregone conclusion.

In fact, they’d rather not talk about it, now that it’s abundantly clear that Boris Johnson’s 2016 promise of “sunlit uplands” has materialised with rivers of sewage, higher food bills, border queues, and a weaker economy.

The Tories, as well as Keir Starmer’s Tories of the red-rosette variety, are engaged in a conspiracy of silence – and what we in the SNP and the independence movement mustn’t do is allow it to persist.

On Europe Day and every day, we should not only keep highlighting the massive damage of Brexit felt in our everyday lives but also passionately make the case for Scotland’s place in Europe.

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That damage is clear and undeniable to most level-headed people.

Brexit is a key reason for the cost of living crisis we’re all going through – pushing up prices on supermarket shelves and inflicting real pain on small businesses who have to further pass on price rises to customers, creating a spiral of constant price hikes.

Brexit food trade barriers have already cost UK households more than £7 billion … but Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, and the gang of Brexiteers didn’t put that on the side of a red bus, did they?

The new layer of Brexit red tape at the border, which came into force recently, is inflicting yet more pain on the industry and hitting us in the pocket.

For too many people in the UK and Scotland, declining living standards have become a permanent feature of our lives – and both Labour and Tories are gaslighting us over one of the key reasons.

The UK is the poor man of North West Europe, and poverty and inequality are rife after Brexit, 14 years of austerity, and Tory governments that crashed the economy.

In October 2016, the then Brexit secretary David Davis, said “there will be no downside to Brexit, only a considerable upside”.

The National: David Davies, the Conservative MP for  Haltemprice and Howden.Former Brexit secretary David Davis

We now know that the total opposite is true – although perhaps there is one big upside.

The upside is that Brexit has not only laid bare the invented myth of the Brussels bogeyman being the source of people’s problems, but it has also exposed how Westminster is the source of failure.

And yet, neither of the Westminster parties offers a route out of this mayhem. It’s fine, they say. Just shut the curtain and put up the Union-flag bunting. Nothing to see here.

We can’t fall for it and must redouble our campaigning to rejoin the European family of nations – for the sake of our prosperity, for the sake of solidarity and internationalism, and for the sake of basic common sense.

Even though Scotland was dragged out of Europe by Westminster, our collective desire to play our part on the European stage – to be in the room where it happens – is as strong as ever.

Polls consistently show that around 70% of Scots want to be back in the EU. The gap between those who currently support Scottish independence in the EU and those who want to be in the EU but are yet unconvinced of independence should be narrowed with consistent, laser-focused campaigning.

We, in the SNP and the independence movement, must redouble our efforts to build links with other European activists and political parties, and ensure that Europe “keeps the light on” for Scotland.

We need to show them that Scotland is unquestionably pro-European and internationalist at its heart – and that not only do we want to be back, we want to play an active role in tackling the big challenges through co-operation.

Ultimately, that’s what EU membership is all about. It’s about being in the room, being at the heart of discussions, and shaping collective solutions to the multiple crises facing the world. Whether it’s climate change, a stagnating economy, or the rise of the far-right.

This is why I’m organising the international conference in Stirling on May 17-18 – Our European Future – bringing together 30 international youth leaders, as well as young activists for Scottish independence and a number of senior SNP politicians.

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We’re focusing on outreach to youth wings in particular because these are the people who in a few years’ time will be MPs, MEPs, or even ministers in their countries, and we want to foster a network of “ambassadors” who will fight Scotland’s corner in all corners of Europe.

It will hopefully be an important moment of looking forward to the future with optimism – a sense of hope that we, young people, can be the generation that will power Scotland’s rightful return to the heart of Europe.

A better future for Scotland, and a better future for Europe as a whole, is possible and is within our grasp – but only if we roll up our sleeves, get active, build a strategy, foster key relationships, talk about our shared vision and then, together, advance to independence.