by Rab Bruce’s spider

The fallout from the EU elections has been entirely predictable. Having taken the art of abstention to a new level by abstaining on having a clear policy on Brexit, Labour are still prevaricating and making noises about a second referendum while refusing to acknowledge that only a clear call to remain in the EU is likely to recover any votes for them. The Tories, as expected, have taken the results as evidence that they need to match Nigel Farage on xenophobia, and the prospective new leaders are lining up to tell us how hard a Brexit they will opt for.

In Scotland, voters again showed that the majority wish to remain in the EU even though the turnout was again less than half of the roll. That in itself is a sad indictment of the level of engagement in the EU and it is something an independent Scotland really needs to address.

Still, the stark difference in outlook between Scotland and England was again highlighted, and the big takeaway in Scotland is that voters had little truck with Colonel Davidson’s rallying cry to send Nicola Sturgeon a message about a second indyref. Naturally, the Tories will ignore this result and continue with their "No Surrender!" slogans, but they are looking increasingly out of touch with voter sentiment.

But what about IndyRef2? Ms Sturgeon now says 2020 is the likely date, and it is understandable that she should put that sort of timescale on it as the Brexit deadline is now the end of October, and it will take several months to set up another IndyRef. The big danger, of course, is that Scotland will have been out of the EU for those several months, and the Tories will have had ample opportunity to neuter or even dissolve the Holyrood Parliament.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I really hope Nicola Sturgeon and her team have worked out plans to cope with the various scenarios facing them because none of us can afford for them to get it wrong this time.