So yet again Mrs May marched us up to the top of the hill only to come to the summit empty-handed, and unsurprisingly go away again without any progress. We’re beyond the wire now folks. Brexit can still be stopped, but all routes to that are via an extension not of the transition period but of the Article 50 negotiating period itself.

England and Wales are finally catching up with what Scotland and Northern Ireland have known for years. There’s no good Brexit. No “Best deal for Britain”, no “Jobs first Brexit”, no sunlit uplands, no unicorns, and definitely no cake. There’s just the long grind of disruption, decline, and disgrace of a previously admired and respected part of the world. Many of us have said all along that people can only be expected to see the danger when they are forced to peer over the edge at the rocks below. And those rocks are looking craggier and jaggier by the day.

With only weeks to go in negotiations, the UK government is looking increasingly like it is settling down to accept no deal as the price we'll all have to pay for them to keep their precious power. Having terrified everyone at the thought of a no-deal Brexit in an attempt to silence their own crackpot wing, they themselves will now be happy to take us over the cliff of no deal or into the void of a blind Brexit. The same people who promised Scotland the UK was the only way to stay in the EU are now trying to pin the blame on anyone they can find for their own catastrophic negotiations, and for putting themselves between the rock of the DUP and the hard place of the ERG jokers.

It doesn’t have to happen.

A host of EU leaders, and most recently Emanuel Macron, have said and continue to say that the UK can reverse Brexit if it wishes. Our friends and colleagues in the EU recognise the difference between the Westminster Government and the nations and people of the UK. They recognise the lies, false promises and fears that drove people to vote Leave were part of a coordinated con-trick executed on ground made fertile by politicians who have at best ignored and at worst demonised the EU for decades.

There are ways out of this catastrophe, but they all need the UK Parliament to act. The EU Withdrawal Act makes it law that, by the end of January, the Government must make a statement to the House of Commons on the Withdrawal Agreement or on how to proceed if there is no deal agreed. The Commons will then agree a motion on this. The UK Government has attempted to find ways to make this motion “unamendable”, but most believe the Speaker will allow amendments. This means MPs will be able not just to reject a deal in favour of no deal, but to place conditions on its agreement to it. In the case of no deal, the motion can be amended to instruct the government what to do next.

I’ve argued that no responsible parliament could allow a no-deal Brexit, and that would be their chance to, hopefully, prove they are responsible. While the Labour leadership continues to make equally fantastic promises about the deal it would get, their own membership has moved the party's policy to rule out allowing a no-deal Brexit. With them and the other opposition parties, only a few Tory rebels are needed to shut this off.

I’d urge that if the all May brings back is no deal, Parliament itself would have a duty, and every right, to insist on revoking Article 50 and Remaining. Before the 2016 referendum, neither side talked about a no-deal outcome. We can argue 'til the cows come home about what form of Brexit people did vote for but literally nobody voted for no deal. Even presenting it as an option to the public now would be dangerous and irresponsible.

If there is a deal, Theresa May’s insistence that the only alternative would be no deal is factually incorrect. Amendments can mean MPs insisting on re-negotiation, or a ratification referendum with an option to remain in the EU.

In addition to us needing MPs to show their responsibility and strength in the face of this Tory-led disaster, we’ll also need the understanding and help of our European friends. All of the routes out of this mess will require an extension to the two years allowed for negotiations under Article 50. To be honest, it was never going to be long enough but the May Government’s hectoring, adversarial and slow approach, and the stream of bad faith and vitriol hurled across the channel, have made it an impossible task.

The EU27 want this done with now. They want the uncertainty to be over, and no longer see any reason to do the PM any favours. But I believe they would be open to an extension if the UK Parliament decides to take a route out of this. They would not wish to effectively eject a member state that is still in the democratic process of making a final decision on leaving.

Unfortunately, the UK’s diplomatic apparatus, that should be preparing the ground for and explaining this need for an extension, is hamstrung by the fear and paranoia of the Government. I, along with MEP colleagues from all parties, are doing our best to do this, and we’ll step this up in the coming weeks.

So this can be done. Public opinion has turned, and MPs must take note of this and step in.

One thing’s for sure though – Scotland must never allow itself to be put in this position again. Next time, Scotland decides, not Westminster.