We are now only two years from the next Scottish Parliament elections. The current parliament will have sat for five years by May 2021, the extra year designed to prevent a clash with the UK General Election in 2020. Since there is no guarantee that the SNP will still be in power after the next Holyrood vote, the clock is ticking on its attempt to make the case once more for independence and hope that the UK Parliament will extend legal authority to hold another referendum. Right now the prospects do not look good.
The United Kingdom and Scotland are both caught in their own constitutional deadlocks. Westminster is caught in a Brexit bind, with no majority for anything. Both Conservative and Labour leaderships seem to accept that the voters gave Parliament a mandate in June 2016 – but nobody can explain what the mandate was for, given the multiple versions of Brexit on offer. So the critical decision is constantly postponed.