THE former chief of Downing Street’s Union Unit has suggested it would be insane to devolve more powers to Holyrood.

Luke Graham, who lost his job in February after a “brutal” row with Boris Johnson, has laid out a strategy to prevent Scottish independence.

The ex-Conservative MP for Ochil and South Perthshire denounced proponents of “devo-max” and claimed the “Vow” has already been delivered.

“The theory goes that by devolving the ‘maximum’ powers possible in the UK, MSPs will feel empowered to chart a satisfactorily independent course from Westminster to make London seem benign, and thus quell calls to tear the UK apart,” Graham wrote in the Times.

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However, he said such thinking was “flawed” and only increases support for independence.

The former Union Unit head clarified that he was not making a “retrograde” argument against devolution, which he supports. “When deployed correctly, devolution and localism can work — see the renewed focus, investment and improving services in Teesside. However, in Scotland, devo max will be the bullet train to separation,” Graham argued.

“Those in any doubt should just look to the record of the past decade; Westminster has passed more and more powers to the Scottish executive, without enhancing the devolved legislature. The so-called ‘vow’ has been delivered, but few benefits have been seen in Scotland.”

He added: “Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. Some unionist politicians are running the risk of meeting this definition.”

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Graham went on to back Michael Gove’s plan to scrap English votes for English laws legislation, which was introduced by David Cameron after the 2014 referendum.

“He should have used the moment to promote national unity, and outline a positive agenda to showcase the positive ties that bind us together,” the former MP wrote.

Graham concludes by setting out his vision for keeping the UK intact.

He argued: “If Unionists want to strengthen the Union, it’s time to look at the results, drop devo max and go for ‘UK max’: championing the many identities and strengths that make up each part of the UK and the country as a whole.”

The SNP said the comments were symptomatic of Tory disregard for the devolved administrations. 

Tommy Sheppard MP told The National: “It comes as a surprise to literally no-one to see Scottish Tory figures talk of withholding powers from Holyrood, given they repeatedly aided Boris Johnson's power grab against the devolved parliaments and facilitated damaging policies, including Brexit, being imposed upon Scotland against its will.

“The reality is that Scotland is increasingly vulnerable under the control of Tory governments we don’t vote for. It's clear that the only way to secure Scotland's recovery and to keep us safe from the long-term damage of Tory austerity and Brexit is to become an independent country."