This week was the Scottish National Party Conference and whether you were glued to your screen or not, and we suspect most of us can safely say not, Nicola Sturgeon has been making some clever moves to leverage the ongoing chaos in Westminster to put Scottish independence back on the agenda.
When Scotland went to the ballot in 2014, their relationship with the EU if they were to leave the UK was under the spotlight. Westminster had sternly told their colleagues in Holyrood that Scotland would be at the back of the queue for EU membership if they broke with the Union.
Well Scotland voted to remain in the Union and their membership of the EU was safe… For about two years, until another referendum produced a very different result. In 2016, despite every Scottish constituency voting to remain in the EU, Scotland found themselves being dragged out with the rest of the UK.
Leaving is one thing, but the way in which Westminster has handled the withdrawal, or rather has not handled it, has created the perfect opportunity for Sturgeon to raise the issue of independence once again. She took that opportunity this week at her party conference, asserting that she was more confident than ever before that Scotland would become independent.
Should she play this situation correctly, Brexit could turn out to be a win-win situation for the SNP. If Theresa May gives in to pressure from Remainers and announces a second referendum, she opens the door for the SNP to demand a second referendum on Scottish independence. If Theresa May gets anything less than a satisfactory deal or, as is looking ever more likely, no deal at all, then the SNP have the opportunity to call for another referendum on the grounds that Scotland will be no worse off outside of the Union than within it.
Whilst everyone is looking the other way, the SNP are attempting to reframe the issue of Scottish independence around Brexit, and with Westminster increasingly deteriorating into a series of internal squabbles, we may see their ground begin to strengthen.