FREQUENT, reliable train services remain a constituency priority for Dunbar and East Lothian’s other expanding towns where the East Coast Main Line is both a vital north-south link and a car-free commuting option.

On Wednesday this week, I am meeting with CrossCountry to urge them not to withdraw services from Dunbar. I have written to the Department for Transport in London asking them not to allow this to happen.

Public transport and the management of freight belong to wider climate change and post-Brexit debates.

Dover’s Brexit-related problems, for example, enabled Ireland to capitalise on its east coast ports, with Rosslare’s ferry services to continental Europe increasing from six sailings a week to 30, a boom attracting infrastructure investment of €400m. How could Europe-facing ports in an independent Scotland learn from Ireland’s example?

With good will and flexibility, the Northern Ireland ‘Windsor Framework’ was negotiated, and advocates for rejoining the single market were quick to see similar potential for Scotland.

No Scottish politician would begrudge Northern Ireland’s access to the UK and single markets, given its troubled history and its vote to remain in the EU.

But Scotland returned a greater pro-EU majority and the Windsor Framework makes Scotland unique: the only country in Europe to have voted – twice – for EU membership yet now undemocratically excluded.

East Lothian voters who backed Brexit and rejected independence will have heard Rishi Sunak acknowledging his deal makes Northern Ireland “the world’s most exciting economic zone” because of accessing EU and UK markets.

Apparently oblivious to Scotland’s aspirations, Mr Sunak emphasised that no other country has this: “No one. Only you guys: only here, and that is the prize”.

In fact, until 2016, every business, exporter, entrepreneur, worker, traveller and student in Scotland benefited from that “prize” and voters overwhelmingly wanted to retain it.

The ideologically opposed DUP might reject the framework but Scotland should be able to explore the opportunities.

Academic, business, and other expertise could be harnessed to argue the case, just as the First Minister’s team underpinned accountable, coherent and detailed transparency about Government public health strategies during the pandemic.

By contrast, Westminster’s irresponsible, ill-judged and self-serving Covid-19 WhatsApp messages claim Boris Johnson queried the failing Covid testing and ‘track and trace’ policies, asking: “What is wrong with us as a country that we can’t fix this?”

The WhatsApp revelations raise far-reaching questions about the hidden workings, and failures, of Westminster government.