THE UK's Brexit deal will mean less sovereignty, less democracy and more economic and constitutional damage than staying in the EU.

If Westminster passes the deal, Brexit will happen next March. If not, the folly of Brexit may yet be stopped or "no deal" could beckon.

How did we end up here? It's been a tortuous process since the narrow Leave win on 23 June 2016 left the UK bitterly divided. David Cameron could have called for a pause for reflection then gone back to the EU to get a better deal; instead he left the stage.

Theresa May stepped in, setting out "red lines" for the hard-line, unappeasable Tory Brexiter brigade: leaving the single market and customs union, taking back control of laws and migration, an independent trade policy, leaving the European Court of Justice (ECJ) jurisdiction. May's red lines meant serious economic damage and a hard Irish border.

Now, with May inevitably breaching her own red lines Tory Brexiters are appalled. The UK as an indefinite rule-taker on EU trade policy is not a picture of sovereignty regained.

May triggered Article 50 without a plan, then called the 2017 election, ending up dependent on the DUP - giving them a highly inappropriate influence. Yet opposition was lacking.

Remain has been ahead in the polls for months but Jeremy Corbyn prioritised a mythical "jobs first" Brexit over opposing the whole process.

And May paid little attention to constitutional issues. Northern Ireland and Scotland voted Remain but any deal had to appease the DUP while the views of Scotland were mostly dismissed - another independence referendum blocked, devolution undermined.

The SNP defended the devolution settlement but put emphasis on a "soft" Brexit more than halting Brexit - only finally backing a People's Vote last month.

So UK politics has failed badly since 2016 - a "little England" nationalism, its isolationism posing as "global Britain", has divided the UK.

But faced with the reality of an interdependent Europe and world, the Brexiters have no serious answers. And this Brexit deal is part of the problem not a solution.

Kirsty Hughes is director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations.