Hit with yet another poll showing majority support for Scottish independence, Number 10 has been advised to break the emergency glass and slam the red button.
The “it was a once in a generation vote” defence is in terminal decline and perhaps more worrying, the economic case against independence, which once reigned supreme, is losing its sway in the face of a no-deal Brexit.
Increasingly resembling King Canute trying to hold back the tide, Boris Johnson and his team have been strategising new methods to stem support for independence.
The latest wheeze, which surfaced in a leaked memo, appears to be to try and “co-opt” Brussels into agreeing to block Scotland joining the EU in the event of a successful indy poll. Yeah, good luck with that.
Arguments about deficits and requirements on new members aside, the notion that the EU will be doing Westminster any favours after a very messy Brexit negotiation is for the birds.
It was only last week that, rather like a sulky teenager, the UK told the EU “not to bother” calling or visiting as our Brexit demands hadn’t been met.
The memo, complied by slick political consultancy Hanbury, warns about a “vacuum” on the union side of the debate and urges against the use of off-the-shelf rebuttals for a second referendum.
Asked about the recommendations, Number 10 said the issue was “settled in a once in a generation vote”… top work.
With a Holyrood election on the horizon and the end of the Brexit transition in sight, Downing Street best get a better line.