Boris Johnson paid a rare visit to Scotland last week. His patronising comments about the bonds between Scotland and the rest of the UK were just empty rhetoric. Noting his visit, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed him, but pointedly reminded him: "One of the key arguments for independence is the ability of Scotland to take our own decisions rather than having our future decided by politicians we did not vote for, taking us down a path we haven't chosen. Boris Johnson's presence highlights that."
The most recent opinion polls have put pro-independence support in the country at 54%. The consistent popularity of Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party is clear.
If nothing untoward happens between now and the election next May, the SNP should be able to significantly improve its representation in the parliament at Holyrood.
Sturgeon is quite literally Queen of Scots and her leadership is now key to the political fate of the UK in the post-Brexit era.
She is a long-term strategist, who has pursued independence relentlessly since she joined the SNP as a girl of 16.
The nationalists' defeat in the 2014 referendum has not deterred her from demanding a second vote on independence.
For her, exiting the Union is a case of: "When, not if."
As First Minister of Scotland, she is the most important political figure in the UK at this moment in time. As leader of the powerful SNP, the future of the UK depends on her.
For us in Northern Ireland, whatever she does will have a profound impact on our future.
If she achieves an independent Scotland - and the trend is certainly in that direction - what will a truncated UK look like? What will the relationship between Scotland and this place be like? What will the relationship between Scotland and the Republic be like? What are the repercussions for Irish unity?
And, as is very likely, membership will be restored to an independent Scotland by a jubilant European Union, making life even more difficult for post-Brexit England and Wales.
The referendum in 2016 saw 62% of Scots voting to remain in the EU. Brexit has, ironically, spurred on the nationalist movement and has won over many who otherwise would have been content to remain in a UK that was part of the bloc.
That substantial majority has widened the divide between Scotland and England.
It has further strained the political relationship between the Edinburgh and London Governments. They inhabit different worlds politically.
There are, however, a number of factors that could derail Sturgeon's gathering momentum towards independence.
The first is the unresolved and bitter fallout from the failed prosecution of Alex Salmond, the charismatic former SNP leader, whom Sturgeon described in happier times as "her mentor".
Salmond was acquitted in March of sexually assaulting nine women connected to the party and the Scottish Government while he was First Minister.
Relations between him and the SNP have soured and he is now in internal exile as a broadcaster for RT, the Russian news channel.
He has been criticised for working for a pro-Kremlin TV station that allegedly spreads Russian propaganda.
Having said that, the British Establishment has always loved to have a political bogeyman and the Russian bear has re-emerged as Britain's favourite hate figure.
But Salmond's programme is far from propaganda and is an interesting watch.
It also gives him a public standing that he would otherwise not have. With relations between him and the SNP strained, unintentional damage could be dealt to the nationalist cause with an alienated Salmond commentating from the sidelines.
A further problem is that there is an inquiry under way into the Salmond case and its results could be damaging for Sturgeon whenever it reports.
Going into the mouth of an election and aggravating old sores, it will not be good press for Sturgeon, nor her party.
By far the biggest problem for Sturgeon is to get a legally binding independence referendum for the Scottish people.
While the Edinburgh parliament has approved by a comfortable majority such a referendum, it cannot unilaterally initiate one that has legal standing.
The calling of a referendum requires the consent of Westminster. Boris Johnson has declared, notwithstanding Holyrood's decision, that he will not permit a second referendum on independence.
The SNP will continue to demand that London grants an order to hold a referendum under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998, and this is a demand London will find hard to resist, particularly if Sturgeon wins a handsome victory in next year's Scottish election.
If that happens, as is probable, Johnson could not credibly resist such a democratic challenge for very long.