The National:

THE UK Government legislating in devolved areas is to be welcomed, the Tories tell us.

Never mind the Sewel Convention that says Westminster won’t usually fiddle in devolved areas. Never mind the billions in EU funds which used to be controlled from Edinburgh being replaced by millions controlled from London.

Only the SNP would whinge about Boris Johnson’s government involving itself in devolved affairs, the Tories say.

But God forbid that the Scottish Government might look at reserved areas. That would be a cardinal sin, those same Scottish Tories tell us.

Double standards are something of a speciality for Douglas Ross’s party, which claims to be tough on crime while being led by law-breakers.

If that seems “surreal”, the Scottish Tories’ chief whip set out to match it.

At a debate in Holyrood looking at a report into the “Scottish Government’s international work”, Tory MSP Stephen Kerr had a pretty predictable gripe.

“They never mention the United Kingdom," he said of Green and SNP MSPs.

“They seem to have made some kind of solemn and binding oath that they’ll not mention the United Kingdom.

“Well let me remind the members of this parliament: foreign policy is reserved. Foreign policy is reserved!

“Do we understand that in this Chamber? I hope we do!”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon's work for Scotland on the world stage praised by top EU professor

After a brief intervention from the SNP’s Alasdair Allan which saw Kerr deny the Tories had been “trounced” at the council elections (ignore the facts), he went on.

“The purpose of my remarks is to remind members of the fact that we are part of the most successful partnership between two countries in the history of the world in the United Kingdom.

“I remind the Chamber again that foreign policy is reserved.”

Kerr went on to reminisce about a trip to Kenya he went on once as an MP, before asking Angus Robertson – the Constitution Secretary – to take the floor. Kerr said he’d been “muttering”.

The SNP minister asked when the Tory member would be addressing the topic of the debate, which is “Scotland’s work internationally” and not the existence of the UK or that time Kerr went to Kenya.

Kerr went on to say he had been addressing the topic of the debate, then went back to talking about his trip to Kenya.

It turned out Kerr’s point was that he’d seen the effect of “British” work internationally, and that showed how strong the UK is.

He kept going – stopping only briefly to take another intervention from Robertson who again asked when the topic of the debate would be addressed.

“Now that was a surreal speech,” SNP MSP Paul McLennan said when Kerr had finally finished.

Realistically though, seeing the Scottish Tory chief whip ramble on about the strength of the UK for nearly 10 minutes wasn’t that surreal at all.