FORMER secretary of state for Scotland Michael Forsyth has said Whitehall and not Holyrood must be in charge of powers in devolved areas being repatriated from the EU to the UK.

Speaking in Monday's House of Lords debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill, the Tory peer said anything else would run the risk of “the tail wagging the dog”.

Forsyth was arguing against Welsh and Scottish government pleas to amend Clause 11 of the controversial legislation which aims to transfer all EU law onto the British statute books. 

Though the administrations in Cardiff and Edinburghand Downing Street have agreed on around 80 of the powers in devolved responsibilities due to come back to the the UK after Brexit, there's still dispute over another 24.

Tory ministers want to take control of these, and for them to be part of UK wide frameworks.

While the goverments in Edinburgh and Cardiff have no difficulty with being part of frameworks, they insist they must be asked to agree any changes rather than just being consulted.

Forsyth said those arguing for amends were being “naive” and ignoring the fact that the SNP were seeking to “destroy” the UK.

“We are faced with an administration in Scotland which is absolutely determined to break up the United Kingdom," he said.

“That is their purpose. They can have all the talks till the crack of doom with the political administration.

“But the politicians have another agenda... which is to destroy the United Kingdom.”

Lord Forsyth, who campaigned against Scottish devolution in the 1997 referendum, said politicians should shoosh and accept the result of the EU and Scottish independence referendums.

“This is a lot of heat and waffle perpetrated by people who don’t like the results of the referendum and who are terribly keen on referenda but find it very difficult to accept the results of referenda."

He added: “This amendment would give a veto. It would mean the tail was wagging the dog.”

Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, who authored Article 50, which triggered the formal Brexit process, referred to Lord Forsyth’s contribution as the “pyrotechnics from the pyromaniac”.