Scotland’s future must not be left in the hands of Boris Johnson and Co.

The events of recent weeks have underlined exactly why the people of Scotland need and deserve to have a choice over our future.

Having presided over three years of Brexit chaos, the shambolic Tory government at Westminster is now falling apart before our eyes – and once again Scotland is being forced to pay the price.

Theresa May’s announcement on Friday, that she will resign as Tory leader in June, came as little surprise to anyone.

For months now, her own Cabinet ministers have been plotting to replace her, after it became clear that there was little support for her damaging Brexit deal in Parliament.

While the Prime Minister’s departure was inevitable, it does not resolve the Brexit crisis we face or reduce the damage to Scotland from the disastrous policies of this right-wing Tory Government.

For almost a decade, Scotland has suffered under a Government that we did not vote for and do not want.

In fact, Scotland hasn’t voted Tory at a single general election in more than 60 years – but for most of that time we have had Tory Governments imposed on us regardless.

Now things are set to get even worse, as the Tories lurch ever further to the extremes in a leadership contest that will horrify people in Scotland, and be decided by just a few thousand Tory members.

Unbelievably, the leading contenders are all extreme Brexiteers, including Boris Johnson, Esther McVey, Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove.

The prospect of another Prime Minister in hock to the right wing of the Tory party and the politics of Nigel Farage looks increasingly likely.

Between them, this Tory house of horrors has been responsible for some of the very worst policies that have been inflicted on Scotland – from the punitive cuts to social security, to calls for Scotland’s budget to be slashed further.

All of the main contenders have indicated they would be willing to crash out of the EU, with a No-Deal Brexit that would be devastating to Scotland.

It would cost up to 100,000 jobs, leave every person the equivalent of £2300 worse off a year, and do lasting harm to living standards, public services and the economy.

The past decade of Tory austerity cuts has already done enough damage to people in Scotland as the UN report on extreme poverty revealed last week.

We simply cannot afford decades more harm being imposed on us for the sake of Westminster’s Brexit obsession.

Scotland deserves so much better than this. We can, and must, have the chance to choose our own path – a better path, as an independent European nation.

The past few years have shown beyond doubt that Scotland will always be ignored and sidelined by Westminster.

Any pretence that we will ever be treated as an equal partner in the UK has long gone.

Scotland’s future must be in Scotland’s hands – not those of Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage.

It is now clearer than ever, that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an independent country and taking our place among the family of European nations where we belong.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.