What are your views on #ScotRef? — Tim, Paisley UPON the announcement of indyref2, my first reaction was “This is what happens when the English beat us at rugby”.

My second reaction was to notice that Nicola Sturgeon had ignored all my sequel title suggestions.

Indyref: Reloaded; Indyref Beyond; I Still Know What You Did Last Indyref; Indyref’s Bogus Journey, 2 Fast 2 Indyref; and Indyref2: Electric Boogaloo had all been discarded in favour of “ScotRef”. That said, it’s short and sweet and gets the job done – which is apt for our First Minister.

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My third reaction was to leap into the air, shouting “YASSS!” as my beret glowed a heavenly pink.

As much as some have tried to spin this into an opportunistic move on Sturgeon’s part, there’s no denying that Westminster has forced her hand. In the supposed “partnership of equals” that is Britain, the First Minister of Scotland has no clue when the UK Prime Minister plans to trigger Article 50.

Theresa May isn’t so much co-operating with Scotland, as she is challenging us to a game of political Pop-Up Pirate. Which is somewhat ironic, as the Tory retort to ScotRef has been “Politics is not a game”. Of course, this is coming from the people who allowed a party feud to drag Britain out of the EU in a blaze of British nationalism.

Moreover, a second Scottish referendum was a predictable consequence of Brexit, so for the Tories to act affronted by the whole affair simply shows a reluctance to take responsibility for their own actions.

The Conservatives may claim that a Scottish independence referendum would be “dangerous and divisive”, but how can this hold credibility when the people saying it are Brexiters?

Frankly, I don’t think it’s right that accusations of bigotry are being thrown our way when we are the nation that voted to remain in the EU. Also, it was the UK Government that ordered MPs to scrap plans to let EU nationals stay in Britain.

Conversely, the first international march for Scottish independence will be held at The Hague in the Netherlands next month. It is being organised by the Netherlands for Scottish Independence group, with members of Germans for Scottish Independence also expected to attend.

The Tories say Scotland would have to apply to join the EU if it leaves the UK. However, I don’t see how the threat of having to apply to join something is greater than the threat of being unjustly removed from something.

In my view, Scotland would be able to trade with the UK from within the EU single market, and the only reason that won’t happen is if one side chooses to be difficult about things. Obviously, it’s Westminster that is most likely to do that, as Scotland joining the EU is looking comparatively straightforward. Recently, one of the most influential voices in Europe, German MEP Elmar Brok, said that Scotland joining the EU would be “easy” with “not much to negotiate”.

Despite what Unionists claim, Spain has absolutely no intention of blocking Scotland’s entry to the EU. Furthermore, an independent Scotland could easily be the perfect place for UK businesses to relocate if they want to continue trading within the European single market.

Surprisingly, the weak anti-independence arguments we’ve had so far are coming from the semi-intelligent end of the Unionist side. What a laugh it’s going to be when Trump and Farage speak out against Scottish independence!

Any prominent Brexiters are merely an asset to our campaign. Boris Johnson recently told the House of Commons that he will support proposals to build a new Royal Yacht Britannia. This, at a time when the Tories are butchering public services, seems like an act of utter madness.

It really says a lot when the Unionist response to a second referendum has thus far been “politics is not a game” and “we’re building a yacht”. They don’t seem like a team that is prepared to counteract an SNP plan that’s been two years in the making.

Of course, this is indicative that the only real plan the Tories have is simply to prevent a second referendum from taking place.

It has been reported that the PM is considering setting the condition that the SNP must win an outright majority in Holyrood elections in 2021 before ScotRef can go ahead.

This is idiotic to begin with, but doubly so when you consider that SNP aren’t the only pro-independence party in Scotland. With the Greens and SNP combined, there is already a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament.

Support for Scottish independence is hovering around 50 per cent in most polls now, and that’s before the campaign has even begun.

The Lords may have passed the Brexit Bill and paved the way for Theresa May to trigger Article 50, but where we’re going … we don’t need Article 50.