'THIS week saw the publication of a YouGov survey commissioned by the Scottish Government and involving a representative sample of the Scottish population, showed that 71% of adults supported tighter controls on the sale of fireworks to the public, with over half backing a ban.

This comes on the back of the Scottish Government's consultation on fireworks which ran for 13 weeks and received 16,420 responses from members of the public and stakeholder organisations. It was a process which included 29 public events around Scotland

It is a well-timed publication as we are starting to see the annual appearance of special fireworks counters in the supermarkets and pop-up fireworks shops taking over empty shops on the High Street, all in the run up to Bonfire Night.

There can be absolutely no doubt that clear majority of Scots want to see tighter controls on the use and sale of fireworks.

And no wonder. Every year, it seems, the firepower on display gets bigger and, in terms of what people are being encouraged to set off in their own back gardens, we are a long way now from the Catherine Wheel, Roman Candle, couple of small rockets fired off from a milk bottle and a packet of sparklers that used to be the standard back garden fireworks party.

Out of more than 16,000 respondents to the Scottish Government consultation, over 90% want to see tighter controls on the sale of fireworks and stronger regulations to ensure animals are not caused unnecessary suffering as a result of fireworks misuse

92% feel there should be tighter controls on fireworks use and 87% would support an outright ban on the sale of fireworks. Legislation on the sale of fireworks, however, is reserved to Westminster, and Scottish Government Ministers will now be looking at the powers available to them to drive forward action to reduce the damage caused by fireworks misuse.

Another sphere in which there have been plenty of metaphorical fireworks – and in which the Scottish Government and my SNP colleagues down in the House of Commons are working hard to reduce damage is in relation to Brexit.

As the First Minster made clear at FMQs this week, our alternative to no deal is no Brexit. That is what the people of Scotland voted for. All the efforts that were made to secure a compromise, to keep us in the single market and the customs union, were spurned and cast aside by Theresa May. Boris says, “Brexit, do or die”. Well I do not accept either of those options! And neither I nor my colleagues, will support an option that takes us out of not just the EU but the single market and the customs union.

That is why I look forward to the people of Scotland being offered a choice, so that we can choose an independent future as a way of protecting our relationship with the EU!'.