SO that’s it official. We’re heading out of the European Union. Prime Minister Theresa May, without bothering to consult or inform the devolved administrations, has sent her letter to the EU telling them we’re offski.

A hard Brexit awaits us when EU leaders tell the Prime Minister to forget her idea that somehow the UK could negotiate leaving the EU and establishing future trade deals with it at the same time.

Let’s be honest, when it comes to multi-tasking, would you trust Theresa May and Boris Johnson?

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Irrespective of your opinion on leaving or remaining in the EU, it is clear the Prime Minister has shown nothing but contempt to all the devolved administrations over this whole process. When Scottish Government Ministers only find out the date for triggering Article 50 via news reports, you know exactly what the Tory UK Government thinks of them – and us!

When Theresa May became Prime Minister we were told that she would have a UK-wide approach to Brexit, that all the devolved administrations would be consulted and fully involved. Yet at every step of the way the Tories have ploughed on regardless of the thoughts and opinions of Scotland and the other devolved administrations. Even when the Scottish Government submitted their proposals for Brexit and how to lessen its impact on our economy, it was ignored.

The Tories contempt for all the devolved administrations is clear.

The Prime Minister seems to have the same contempt for the opinions of the EU. She seems to believe she can negotiate in parallel the UK’s exit and our future trading relationship with the EU. She thinks by repeating this across European media sources she will get her way.

That’s not going to happen.

EU leaders from Merkel to Tusk and everyone else who has commented have all said the same thing: you can’t negotiate the UK exit and at the same time haggle over the new relationship between the UK and the EU.

Even the ill-disguised threat that the UK would withdraw police, intelligence and anti-terror co-operation if the UK didn’t get a good Brexit deal was attacked as barefaced blackmail by France’s leading newspaper Le Monde.

The Tories seem to think that threatening the security of people’s lives can be used as a bargaining tool in their Brexit negotiations in the same way they tried to use EU citizens living in the UK.

The Tories’ negotiating position on Brexit has been weakened by the vote in the Scottish Parliament this week calling for a new referendum on independence. Everyone is aware of how the Tories, under Ted Heath, sacrificed the Scottish fishing industry to gain access to the EEC (as it was then) and now it looks as if this industry will again be sacrificed in Brexit negotiations to pave the way for boosting access for London’s financial markets. However, the call for a new independence referendum has thrown into doubt any deals that the UK Government can make that give away Scottish interests, whether that’s fishing, oil or anything else. The other members of the EU are well aware that with an independence referendum looming, there is a good chance that Scotland will become independent and will seek to take control over its own resources. The latest fiasco in the ongoing Brexit shambles is the Great Repeal Bill, which aims to transfer EU regulations into UK law. The extent of this is massive as there are around 12,000 EU regulations currently in force.

The House of Commons Library says this process could be one of the largest legislative projects ever undertaken in the UK. There will be little parliamentary time left for anything else. So much for Tory claims that the SNP Scottish Government focuses too much on independence and doesn’t get on with the “day job”. In Westminster, there will be no chance of the Tory Government having any time at all to do their “day job” due to the amount of work needed to enact the Great Repeal Bill.

Of course, the Tories have found a way of lessening the workload – simply pass executive orders to correct the laws that don’t operate appropriately once EU regulations are removed. While this will speed up the process, it means there will be no parliamentary scrutiny on a whole host of legislation. Ministers would effectively pass legislation without any MP or committee having oversight of what they are doing. Democratic conventions as basic as the scrutiny of legislation would be suspended. Do you trust the Tories with this power? I’m sure I’m not alone in having serious concerns.

It also looks like the Tories have simply forgotten about the legislation which established the Scottish Parliament. This legislation listed, under Schedule 5, which powers would be reserved to Westminster and what was left was to become the competence of the Scottish Parliament. That means any new powers that arise from leaving the EU would have to come under the competence of the Scottish Parliament. There are also concerns that powers currently exercised in Holyrood in areas such as agriculture and fishing are being lined up for a transfer to Westminster.

These moves will undermine the whole basis of devolution in Scotland. It will highlight to all Scots the feeble nature of devolution whereby any Westminster Government – even one with only one MP in Scotland – can simply ignore and over-rule Scotland’s Parliament whenever they want to. If that’s not an argument for winning the next independence referendum then I don’t know what is.