LAST week, Nicola Sturgeon got dangerously close to crossing the line between divisive language and dangerous language.

After the Supreme Court ruled against the Scottish Government on a second independence referendum, the First Minister called for a “major campaign in defence of Scottish democracy”. She described Scotland as “a prisoner to Westminster” – despite losing a referendum only eight years ago. She said the next election would be a “de facto” referendum.

Instead of focusing on the big issues – the cost-of-living crisis, the energy crisis, local health services and strikes in schools – Sturgeon is turning inward to talk to her own SNP movement. It’s almost as if she’s First Minister only for those who want to split the UK.

Far from being an “oppressed colony”, just eight years ago we voted to remain part of the United Kingdom in the largest vote in our nation’s history.

At recent elections, this decision was reaffirmed when more Scottish voters voted for parties in favour of remaining within the United Kingdom over parties supporting a split from the UK.

But instead of respecting the will of the majority, Sturgeon is yet again ploughing ahead with her independence obsession.

In East Lothian, the SNP have decimated local health services. A&E waiting times are horrendous, delayed discharge is a growing concern, and too many kids are waiting too long to access mental health services. And the closure of Edington Cottage Hospital in North Berwick persists, despite substantial opposition to the move.

Campaigning on the single issue of independence is the wrong priority. That’s why I will continue to oppose the SNP’s tunnel vision. It’s time for ministers and their army of advisers and spin-doctors to focus on the real-life, bread-and-butter issues facing our communities.