While Westminster flounders, up in Holyrood, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has busied herself trying to find a way for Scotland to stay in the European Union.
And in a speech on Monday, she laid out the options.
The Scottish Nationalist acknowledged the option of independence would not be straightforward, but she added: “It may well be that the option that offers us the greatest certainty, stability and the maximum control over our own destiny, is that of independence.”
She also hinted at a more measured stance, where Scotland could “retain ties and keep open channels” with the EU while other countries within the UK “pursue different outcomes”.
And she praised the new PM Theresa May’s commitment to wait for a UK-wide agreement before triggering Article 50.
But Sturgeon’s wide-ranging speech also revisited her memories of Brexit, and the days of chaos that followed. Here are some of the best bits.
1. On the referendum
I am the last person you will hear criticising the principle of referenda. But proposing a referendum when you believe in the constitutional change it offers is one thing. Proposing – as David Cameron did – a referendum even though he opposed the change on offer is quite another.
2. On the result
I told the Scottish Parliament a few days later that I was “disappointed and concerned” by the result. I have to admit that was parliamentary language for a much stronger feeling.
3. On the Leave campaign
I felt, and still feel, contempt for a Leave campaign that had lied and given succour to the racism and intolerance of the far right.
4. On leadership
It seemed abundantly clear to me that people – even many of those who had voted to Leave – were going to wake up feeling very anxious and uncertain. It was therefore the job of politicians, not to pretend that we instantly had all the answers, but to give a sense of direction. To try to create some order out of the chaos. That’s what I was determined to try to do for Scotland. I assumed that UK politicians would do likewise. I was wrong.
5. On EU nationals
I felt then – and still feel very strongly today – that we must give them as much reassurance as possible. It is wrong that the UK government has not yet given a guarantee of continued residence to those who have built lives, careers and families here in the UK.
6. On karma
You tend to reap what you have sown over many years. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to politicians who have spent years denigrating the EU and pandering to the myths about free movement, that some voters simply did not believe them when they suddenly started extolling the virtues of both.
7. On teenage voters
I think it was wrong in principle to deny EU nationals and 16 & 17 year olds the right to vote. But, as well as being wrong in principle, it was also tactically foolish.
8. On slogans
While “Brexit means Brexit” is intended to sound like a strong statement of intent it is, in truth, just a soundbite that masks a lack of any clear sense of direction.
9. On Scotland
Some will say that we also voted to stay in the UK, so we must accept the UK wide verdict. But in 2014, we voted to stay part of a UK that was a member of the EU – indeed, we were told then that protecting our EU membership was one of the main reasons to vote against independence.
10. On taking back control
To end up in a position, which is highly possible, where we have to abide by all the rules of the single market and pay to be part of it, but have no say whatsoever in what the rules are, would not be taking back control, to coin a phrase we’ve heard more than once recently- it would be giving up control.