NEVER let it be said that Boris Johnson doesn’t care about Scotland. As consolation for the loss of EU citizenship and the Sewel Convention he’s backing plans for a “Brexit stability bridge” between Portpatrick and Larne in Northern Ireland. One hopes that this is not just to make it easier for the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, to pop across for the odd Orange march.

But we needn’t worry, because Boris is the kiss of death to bridge projects. As London Mayor, he presided over the ill-fated Garden Bridge, which had to be abandoned after spending £46 million in fees. He also proposed a 22- mile bridge over the English Channel. This new Brexit bridge is about as likely to happen as Britain getting friction-free access to the European Single Market.

Two years after the referendum and we’re no nearer finding out what Brexit actually means, though just about everyone agrees it will be a disaster. There is a Commons majority in favour of halting this act of national self-harm by giving Westminster the power to seize the reins from Theresa May. But shell-shocked Tory MPs were persuaded yesterday (after “meaningful concessions” that are largely meaningless) that if they didn’t support the PM, Boris would likely replace her, and probably declare war on France. Well, he’s said he wants to emulate Donald Trump’s style of diplomacy.

Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn’s crew are at sixes and sevens over whether or not to join EFTA/EEA/Customs Union/Single Market/all of the above. Her Majesty’s Opposition will collapse in a heap today in the remaining Commons votes on the Lords amendments. It is surely a first for Britain to have both Government and Opposition utterly clueless about what to do about a major national crisis. The only people who seem to know what they want are in Brussels – maybe we should just hand Brexit over to them.

In a sense, this is happening by default. After this week, Theresa May will press ahead with her proposal for a customs union in all but name – a proposal which Brussels has already rejected as unacceptable to the EU 27. She will also push her “max fac” solution to the Irish Border issue, which is to pretend that there isn’t a border at all. This has also been rejected by Brussels. Michel Barnier has said all along that there can be no “cherry picking” of the European Single Market, and that the UK has already agreed that Northern Ireland will remain in regulatory alignment with it. The Boris bridge is partly about halting what he sees as this dastardly EU plan to break up Britain.

But his own Government is doing a very good job of that already. Yesterday it rammed through the objectionable clauses of the EU Withdrawal Bill which effectively abolish Scottish devolution for the next seven years. In that time, Mrs May will have complete power to override Holyrood over important matters like agriculture, food safety, environment and so on. Not only did she brush aside the SNP’s and Labour amendments, the Government didn’t even bother to honour its own promise to come up with an amendment of its own. Not so much a power grab as a smash-and-grab.

So, you’ll have had your devolution. Anyone who believes that, after seven years, normal devolutionary service will resume needs to think again. The UK Government will clearly not allow the Scottish Parliament to reverse any or all of the changes made in the “transition period”, since these are deemed crucial for the functioning of the new, post-Brexit UK internal market. They are for keeps. Moreover, the precedent will be established that Westminster can now over-ride any and all of Scotland’s devolved responsibilities whenever it considers it necessary – which is pretty much all the time. Home rule is over. If Mrs May was trying to make the case for an independent Scotland, she could hardly have done better.

It’s not quite the end of the matter, because the Supreme Court has to rule on the legitimacy of the Continuity Bill passed by Holyrood earlier this year. This is intended to counter the UK Withdrawal Bill by replicating it: by asserting that the repatriated powers continue to reside at Holyrood. Then there is the Legislative Consent Motion which Holyrood has refused to agree for the EU Withdrawal Bill – the first time this has happened since 1999. But the Government clearly hopes to deal with this in the same brusque manner as the Clause 11/15 issue: just bash it through Parliament on a busy news day and hope no one notices. Well, it’s just the Scots, after all, and they’re always causing trouble about something.

And so Scotland is dragged kicking and screaming out of the European Union as part of a new unitary British state in which devolution in the manner of the 1998 Scotland Act has effectively been abolished. Scots will lose their citizenship rights in the EU and the protections that go along with it as well as “the most powerful devolved parliament in the world”. We’ll be out of the single market, and the customs union while Northern Ireland will remain largely within it.

According to Philip Lee, the Tory minister who resigned yesterday over Brexit, the choice for Britain is between “a bad deal and a cliff edge”. That is no choice. There must be a better way. I’ve argued against holding a second EU referendum unless public opinion swings dramatically against Brexit. But I’m not sure we can afford to wait much longer, while this hapless Prime Minister, bereft of any plan, damages the national interest.

The obvious course for the UK is to rejoin EFTA, which we founded in 1960 as a rival to the EEC, and then align with the European Economic Area with Norway. This means leaving the European Union but remaining in the single market. This eminently sensible solution is being rejected by a weak Prime Minister at the mercy of a cabal of right-wing Tory revolutionaries bent on Making Britain Great Again. They must be stopped. The only way is to give voters the chance to consign Mr Johnson’s cliff-edge Brexit to the dumpster of his other bright ideas.