SCOTLAND’S Place in Europe, the paper launched by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon almost a year ago in Bute House, set out a number of proposals that would have kept us in the single market – even if the rest of the UK were to leave.

It was rubbished by the Tories. It took the UK Government nearly four months to respond, by which point May had already pushed through a vote on triggering Article 50.

And when they did respond, it was a no. A patronising shush of a letter from David Davis to Michael Russell. “You have called specifically for membership of the single market,” the UK Brexit secretary wrote. “As the Prime Minister has made clear, this is simply not possible if we wish to take back control of borders and immigration in the way people in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom desire, nor if we wish to enjoy the supremacy of our domestic courts.”

Scotland remaining in any sort of framework with the Europeans while the rest of the UK opted out would, he added, be impossible.

He wrote: “Any divergence between EU and UK law – as a result, perhaps, of new EU regulation – could lead to the creation of new barriers to trade within our Union, which could take the form of additional controls and checks on trade within the United Kingdom ... I do not believe that such significant disruption to the internal UK market is in Scotland’s – or the UK’s – best interests.”

Yesterday, every argument the Tory minister used to ignore the Scottish Government’s plans was torn up. Yesterday was the day the harrumphing “we’re British and we’ll do whatever the bally hell we want” Brexit rhetoric smashed into the cold reality.

If Brexit is to go ahead, it will be because the UK Government has sacrificed the Union.

A year and a half after the Brexit vote, two-and-a-half years after the election that committed the government to holding the referendum, this is where the UK Government is: unprepared, capitulating and conceding on all of its so-called “red lines”.

This Tory government, reliant on the votes of staunch Ulster Unionists and in thrall to the hard-right Ukip wing of their party, has repeatedly ignored the wishes of the people of Scotland to remain within the EU.

The Tories have ignored the many attempts of the Scottish Government to reach a compromise position.

The dust is still to settle on this deal, but at the heart of all this is the point made by the First Minister yesterday:

“If one part of UK can retain regulatory alignment with EU and effectively stay in the single market (which is the right solution for Northern Ireland) there is surely no good practical reason why others can’t.”

If Scotland wants to remain in the single market then, quite frankly, why can’t we?

And if they tell us no – again – then what can we do about it?

There’s only one option.

We believe, as do our readers, that it is the best option for Scotland regardless of Brexit.

But, in these particular circumstances, there’s no other choice: it has to be indyref2.