Nicola Sturgeon claims 'Tories are coming for devolution' after Conservative Peer says Scotland can 'evolve back'

Nicola Sturgeon has claimed the “Tories are coming for devolution” after a former Brexit minister appeared to suggest devolved powers could be returned to Westminster.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Lord Frost, who was made a Conservative Peer in 2020, suggested in a column for the Daily Telegraph the devolution settlement that set up the Scottish Parliament in 1999 “is not written in stone”.

He wrote: “It has evolved – all in one direction – since 1999. It can evolve back, too.”

Lord Frost added: “We can begin by stopping mission creep.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: PA

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“The devolved administrations do not have powers in foreign relations or immigration – they are 'reserved matters'. So why was the SNP able to control who came into the country during the pandemic on the basis of public health laws? Why are they spending taxpayers’ money on their own 'embassies' overseas?

“If the UK Government does not police these boundaries, soon they will no longer exist.”

Ms Sturgeon responded on Twitter: “Make no mistake, the Tories are coming for devolution. If we don’t decide to entrench @scotparl through independence, it’s powers will be eroded – forced, according to this by one of the architects of the Brexit disaster, to ‘evolve back’.”

The SNP followed by issuing a challenge to Tory leadership contender Liz Truss to disavow comments made Lord Frost – a leading Brexiteer – while ruling out his return to government.

Mhairi Black, the SNP’s shadow Scottish secretary, said “Lord Frost’s comments are a disgrace and fly completely in the face of the long-standing position unionists have supposedly held that Scotland is an ‘equal partner’ within the UK.”

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