Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be a disaster for Scotland

It’s now all but certain that Boris Johnson will be forced upon us as the next UK Prime Minister when Theresa May leaves Downing Street on Wednesday.

It’s staggering that in a so-called modern democracy a few thousand Tory Party members have been able to install the next PM – without Parliament or the 66 million people who live across these islands having any say.

We know Boris Johnson isn’t remotely fit for office – and he doesn’t have the support of Scots. Even his own Tory MPs have spoken out about his extreme plans and his long history as a liability.

This is the man who was sacked from The Times and from the Tory shadow cabinet for lying, and who brought great embarrassment on the UK as the worst foreign secretary in memory.

This is the person who thought it was acceptable to use racist and homophobic slurs in his newspaper columns – referring to Africans as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”, comparing Muslim women to “letter-boxes” and “bank robbers”, labelling gay people as “tank-topped bum boys”, and claiming “government by a Scot is just not conceivable”.

Now, as their incoming leader, Johnson is taking the Tories even further to the right – with tax cuts for the rich at the expense of low and middle income households and a plot to shut down Parliament to impose a no-deal Brexit.

If Theresa May wasn’t bad enough – things are about to get even worse. Johnson isn’t even pretending to listen to Scotland on Brexit, or any of the biggest issues facing our country.

His plans to drag Scotland out of the EU are so damaging that Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond and Tory Justice Secretary David Gauke both announced yesterday that they will resign in protest if Johnson wins the leadership race.

When even loyal Tory MPs like Guto Bebb are saying they couldn’t serve under Johnson “with any conscience” because he’d be a “disastrous” PM who would “appeal to the extremes” – it’s no wonder Scots are looking on in horror.

Johnson must be stopped – because if does get his way, the impact will be severe. On Thursday, the Office for Budget Responsibility warned the most benign form of no-deal Brexit would shrink our economy, raise unemployment, with house prices tumbling by 10 per cent, UK debt rising and borrowing up by £30 billion a year.

I believe there’s still a chance we can prevent the Tories from taking us off that cliff edge – and that must be the priority. But in Scotland we must ask ourselves if this really is the height of our ambition?

How much longer are we willing to put up with UK governments we didn’t elect, forcing damaging policies on us that we do not want? Why are we wasting so much energy as a nation mitigating the damage done to us by Westminster – when we could be busy fulfilling our potential with independence?

Johnson is Brexit Britain’s bumbling version of Donald Trump. In the face of yet another Tory Government we didn’t vote for, it’s no wonder a majority of people in Scotland now want a fresh independence referendum.

That referendum is coming, and when it does I believe Scotland will grasp the opportunity to take our place as an equal and independent European country.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.