It will come as no surprise that my latest column focuses on the issue which has dominated the news for the past few weeks and months – Brexit.

As each day passes, it seems the situation has changed yet again and the UK Government faces yet more challenges.

When the result of the referendum on whether or not Britain should leave the European Union was announced back in June 2016, I stated that, although I regretted the outcome, I accepted it.

A total of 51.9 per cent of those who voted were in favour of leaving, with 48.1 per cent voting in favour of Remain.

At the time, I made it clear that I did not accept that a vote to leave the EU was a vote to leave the single market – and I maintain that membership of the single market and the customs union is the only workable alternative to remaining a full member of the EU.

Unless the objective is economic vandalism and social dislocation, that is the genuine choice.

It is also the only choice – and I would suggest that any politician or pundit who suggests otherwise is little more than a con artist.

I know that many people are scunnered by Brexit and I resent the way in which, over the past two years, this dismal debate has sucked the oxygen out of so much of our wider public and political conversation.

I genuinely empathise with those who just want the whole sorry saga to be over with.

The UK Government’s argument is based on three fundamental deceptions – firstly, that the Prime Minister’s deal is a good one; secondly, that it is the only deal; and thirdly, that it will end uncertainty.

At the heart of the withdrawal agreement is a trio of key flaws – ending freedom of movement, leaving the single market and leaving the customs union.

The arguments for why each of those objectives would represent a mistake of historic proportions have been well rehearsed.

The evidence is overwhelming.

No public service and no sector of the Scottish economy or area of our civil society will be enhanced by such an isolationist approach.

The xenophobic undertones, coupled with a jingoistic British exceptionalism, that have been a dark presence throughout the whole Brexit process have already led to some settled EU citizens packing their bags and moving on, with others choosing not to come to the UK in the first place.

That such an abhorrent approach is celebrated by the UK Government as ending freedom of movement once and for all ensures that, whatever the outcome of the ensuing weeks, this period will be seen by current and future generations as one of the most shameful episodes in recent UK history.

The proposals put forward by Theresa May did not have the support of the House of Commons and it was clear that, whenever the vote was to take place, it would not have the support of the majority of MPs.

It is also crystal clear that people are frustrated and want this process over with. It is time to give the voice back to the people to decide on the next steps and put the option of a People’s Vote on the table.