For those having a staycation this year, while hoping for some European sun in 2021, one thing is clear – it won’t be back to normal then. As a new analysis from Brussels starkly set out last week, big changes are looming from next January, deal or no deal.

On arriving into any EU country (except Ireland), UK citizens will have to queue in the third country passport lane and be “subject to thorough checks at the Schengen area border”. As long as it’s a short stay, and the UK reciprocates, visas won’t be necessary. But mobile roaming fees could soar; European health insurance cards will be a thing of the past, likewise EU mutual recognition of UK driving licences, EU pet passports and more.

And that’s before getting on to vast new lorry parks at Dover, customs and regulatory checks, damage to supply chains, loss of free movement rights and all the rest of the Brexit folly.

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It might seem obvious how this will play into Scottish politics ahead of next May’s Holyrood elections. Scotland remains a clearly pro-European country: a recent Panelbase/Business for Scotland poll showing 63 per cent of Scottish voters support the UK rejoining the EU (to only 48% in England). Another recent Panelbase poll put the SNP on 55% for next year’s constituency vote to 20% for the Tories and Labour at 15%, so things are surely looking rosy for Scotland’s governing party.

But with the systemic Covid-19 crisis still playing out in economic, health and political terms, Scottish politics looks uncertain enough.

Jackson Carlaw’s pitch for the Tories is clear as he emphasises the UK’s "broad shoulders" carrying the weight of the Covid economic crisis. He must equally hope that infighting in the SNP, as the Salmond saga unfolds again this autumn, will change voters’ minds and undermine their current confidence in Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of the Covid crisis.

But the SNP is not the only party facing infighting. Despite the ruthless prioritisation of loyalty over competence by Boris Johnson’s government, there is plenty of disloyal speculation in Tory ranks about whether Johnson is up to the job.

Johnson was reported at the weekend to be planning to promote a weight loss drive across the UK ahead of a likely coronavirus second wave in the autumn. But a second wave of Covid-19 will bring more economic misery – alongside dire public health impacts. And it raises a question of whether England may face a second wave and Scotland won’t – or how the intensity of any second wave may vary across the UK’s four nations, and indeed across the EU.

The OECD forecast in June that the UK would face an 11.5% drop in GDP due to the first wave impact of Covid-19 – slightly worse than France, Italy and Spain, and much worse than Germany. A second wave could make this a 14% fall.

So the UK’s broad shoulders may have to carry a very large economic weight indeed. Yet Brexit’s impact will not necessarily get lost amidst the coronavirus economic crisis. Lorry queues at Dover, more companies moving operations to the EU, hassle for travellers and more will all be visible enough.

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Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has asked for extra borrowing powers to help it manage the Covid economic crisis. But this is not going to happen while the Tories’ electoral strategy relies on their "UK’s broad shoulders" argument.

Still, as the UK’s public debt soars to over 100% of GDP, the Scottish public may turn out not to be that grateful. The economic situation will be rough; the damage of Brexit clear enough. And the Scottish Government’s handling of Covid-19 may continue to look better than Johnson’s. The SNP will certainly need convincing answers on the economics of independence in the post-Covid world. But one policy surely likely to go is that of taking on a proportionate share of the UK’s now vastly expanded debt on independence.

Of course, SNP infighting might inflict substantial damage. But amidst renewed conflict over devolved powers and a UK Government focused above all on its own English voters, the SNP may not be damaged as much as the opposition hope. Labour may hope for a surge through the middle. But having accepted Brexit, and positioned itself against another independence referendum, it’s not so obvious.

Brexit, Covid, devolution fights, independence, and economic carnage will all impact on the outcome of next May’s elections. And whatever the outcome, one thing is sure: there is no old normal to go back to.

All columnists are free to express their opinions. They don’t necessarily represent the view of The Herald.