THE one-track mind of the SNP Government and their obsession with securing a second independence referendum has long been clear for all to see.

But it seems that in 2022, even Nicola Sturgeon herself has given up the pretence that her party is anything more than a one issue pressure group.

Because on one of the final sitting days of parliament before summer recess, the SNP chose to delay a debate on Scotland's drug deaths crisis so they could fire the starting gun – yet again – on a campaign for another independence referendum.

But it isn't just the challenge of Scotland's drug deaths that the SNP are pushing to one side. A cost of living crisis is gripping the country, frontline public services are facing huge cuts, over 10,000 people have been on NHS waiting lists for at least two years, and the attainment gap between Scotland's young people is as wide as ever.

The Scottish public rightly expect any government to be entirely focussed on tackling these issues. But instead, we are once again having to watch this SNP Government treat the Scottish public's priorities with contempt.

And while it may have been disappointing to see the Scottish Government commit yet more time and resources to a referendum that the people of Scotland simply do not want, it is also entirely unsurprising given this government's track record over the last 15 years.

But we have also learnt that this SNP Government are pushing ahead with these plans despite knowing that this referendum would likely be illegal, and that the Lord Advocate has referred their referendum Bill to the Supreme Court as she lacks confidence that it is within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Even if the court rules against this Bill, the SNP are planning to push ahead with their Plan B, which is to pretend the next general election is a 'de-facto' referendum by standing in that election on a platform entirely focussed on the question of independence.

If ever there were a plan that fits the newly coined phrase 'pretendyref', it is this one.

Of course, it is of no concern to this SNP Government that these plans risk dividing Scotland all over again, at the worst possible time, while taking yet more resources away from the services that the Scottish Government are supposed to be responsible for.

A second vote on independence has long been, and will always remain, the only true priority of the Scottish National Party.

Before last year's Scottish elections, I was clear that the Scottish Conservatives were the only party truly willing to stand up to the SNP and their relentless pursuit of independence, and we were the only party strong enough to do so. This remains the case today.

Because the truth is that a second independence referendum is the last thing Scotland needs right now.

And I will leave no stone unturned in opposing this nationalist government's reckless plans, until they finally get back to their day job and focus on the daily issues that really matter to the people of Scotland.