THE author of Article 50 has warned that prejudiced and "short-sighted Little Englanders" are hemming Scotland in.

John Kerr, the former diplomat who wrote the mechanism under which Britain will leave the European Union, was making the case for a People's Vote, writing in The Herald.

Kerr, now a crossbench member of the House of Lords, argued that Brexit was a "historic mistake".

He said: "Scots of all parties and none should rally behind the People’s Vote cause. Glasgow and Edinburgh have long been great European cities. We mustn’t let short-sighted Little Englander prejudice hem us in.

"My grandfather was on the Somme. My parents met in 1930s slump Glasgow: their Hillhead home was blitzed in 1941. We should heed the lessons of history."

His remarks came after confirmation from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that SNP MPs would back a People's Vote in Westminster, which is opposed by the Prime Minister.

Kerr wrote: “61% of Scots, and a rising majority in the UK as a whole, want a People’s Vote on the outcome of the current negotiations.

"So it was good to see the First Minister say on Sunday that SNP MPs would back such a Vote when the Westminster crunch comes. How Scots MPs vote could be decisive.”

In making his case, Kerr also cited the damage of the First World War: "At Glasgow Academy we walked to classes past the inscribed names, more than 300 names, of former pupils killed in the First World War. We learned how division in Europe can bring heartbreak to Scotland."

Kerr, who drafted Article 50 as Secretary-General of the European Convention, has also been the ambassador to the EU and US and a Foreign Office permanent secretary.