We are a mere two weeks away from the possibility of the UK exiting the EU without a deal or any transition arrangements in place.

And while this article will focus on the risks of a no deal Brexit, it is important to note that a deal in the terms Boris Johnson proposes would be little better - it would take Scotland out of the EU, single market and customs union against our will.

Scotland did not vote for Brexit in 2016 and we rejected it again at the polls in the European Elections this year.

The Scottish Parliament voted against the triggering of EU exit negotiations and has consistently opposed a no deal exit.

The Scottish Government has sought to work in good faith with the UK Government, offering compromise solutions as early as December 2016.

All of this has been ignored. Scotland – its people, its government, its parliament, has been disregarded and disrespected by the UK Government.

And here we are, with Prime Minster Boris Johnson riding roughshod over our democratic will as he accelerates towards the cliff edge on his big Brexit bus, with the UK’s jobs, economy and living standards dragged along behind.

The Scottish Government has been ramping up preparations for this possible outcome, developing mitigation measures to cushion Scotland from the no deal Brexit blow as much as we can.

However, we are by no means accepting of this outcome – we continue to do everything in our power to prevent it and indeed stop any form of Brexit. But given the risks we face, preparing for the impact of a no deal Brexit is the necessary and responsible thing to do.

We know that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, Scotland faces traffic disruption on Northern Ireland routes - so we are looking at repurposing the disused port at Stranraer to hold up to 300 HGVs to help manage the flow.

Small business, including our world renowned food and drink sector, face massive challenges - so we are enabling suppliers to work more flexibly and making up to £1.5 million available to help small and medium sized businesses prepare for exiting.

Local authorities are also facing additional Brexit related pressures - so we are working extremely closely organisations such as COSLA and have released £1.6 million to councils for their own preparations.

All of these consequences are serious - but in a no deal scenario there is a significant risk to the health and welfare of our most vulnerable people. As the outgoing Chief Medical Officer to England warned last week – lives are at risk.

We have set up a Scottish Medicines Shortage Response Group to review evidence and recommend action in the event we experience major impacts on the supply of medicines and medical devices.

A no deal Brexit also has the potential to drive up prices by 5% - affecting those on lowest incomes the most, pushing an additional 130,000 people into poverty. We have set out plans for a £7 million Rapid Poverty Mitigation Fund to help those most in need get support quickly.

But these plans cannot mitigate the full impact of a no deal Brexit. No amount of preparation can prevent the catastrophic damage it will inflict upon the country, so we need to stop it in its tracks.

The people of Scotland have suffered enough under the Tories. Their damaging Brexit pursuit has already shrunk the economy by £60 billion. If they succeed in imposing a no deal on us, it risks 100,000 Scottish jobs and a recession.

Whilst it is the Tories pursuing this ruinous agenda, they will not be the only ones to blame for such an outcome.

The SNP at Westminster has worked constructively with opposition parties but every day the Lib Dems and Labour sit on their hands and shrink away from a motion of no confidence is another day the Tories are in power.

Jo Swinson seems more interested in letting Tories into her party than kicking them out of office. And Labour is more focussed on fighting its own ranks than fighting Tory austerity.

Together we have a job to do. The SNP is not for propping up a Tory Government - and nor should the other parties be.

It’s time to get these Tories out of office and put power back in the hands of the people with a general election.

Twenty years on from devolution, it cannot be denied that Scotland is a better place because of it. But many of the key powers over Scotland remain at Westminster – and leaving them there is risking our future prosperity.

The past few years have already forever changed the UK as we know it.

There is no mandate in Scotland for Brexit. But there is a mandate for a referendum on independence.

And there is momentum - polls show support for independence is growing, as is support for an independence referendum. Nobody has the right to block that decision from being made.

Scotland can be part of a broken Brexit Britain, or we can take our place as an equal partner in a group of independent nations.

It’s time Scotland is able to make that choice.