IN 2016 I voted to leave for three key reasons – Control over our money, control over our borders and control over our laws. I felt passionately, and still do, that the EU project was heading in the wrong direction and that the United Kingdom was better placed outside its institutions.

Firstly, control over our money. Last year we were a net contributor to the EU budget paying in £8.9billion more than we got out.

The Prime Minister has already stated and highlighted where that money will be spent, with a large chunk coming to Scotland thanks to the Barnett Formula. That is vital money that I hope the Scottish Government will be spending on new hospitals, police officers and teachers.

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Secondly, control over our borders. A contentious issue that inflamed passions on both sides. Far be it from my party wanting to “Pull up the draw bridge” as many opponents like to claim – we will be welcoming to anyone who has the skills and talent that our country needs. Not discriminating based on where you come, as freedom of movement currently does, but what you can bring to the table.

Thirdly, control over our laws. Westminster and London feel far away from many in Scotland, but Brussels is almost in a different galaxy altogether. British MEP’s would often be overruled and outvoted on legislation that had a direct impact on the lives of those that live here.

A simple example would be that female sanitary products are labelled as luxury items by the EU and so must have VAT added on top. When the UK Government and British MEP’s attempted to fight this, we lost.

These three reasons were key to me in voting to leave but I understand, and acknowledge, that many in this country did not.

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The idea however that this country is going to drive over a ‘Hard Brexit Cliff Edge’ as the First Minster likes to say, is disingenuous and blind to the opportunities and possibilities that Brexit will bring to Scotland. If only we had a First Minister that was as determined to make Brexit a success as she is to undermine two results that did not go her way.

I celebrated our departure from the EU with a beer and I know that many round the country did so too.

I toasted to the fact that this year presents our city and our country with a massive opportunity to strike out into a global world.

Let’s grasp this with both hands.