Most of you will remember how in 1997, in the leadup to the creation of the Scottish Parliament, we were told by Tony Blair that it was devolution that would ensure the survival of the United Kingdom. The argument was, give them the dignity of their own, tartan assembly, with control over local issues, and the Scots would be only too happy to accept the sovereignty of Westminster in respect of the important things – foreign policy, defence, national security, taxation, the NHS and, of course, Europe.

So how did that work out? Nationalism in Scotland quickly became the preferred option of close to half the population, with more flocking to the Saltire with each passing year. The 2014 referendum on independence was characterised by the Conservatives in particular as a great victory for the Union that would settle the issue for a generation at least. The reality was that 45 per cent of the electorate declared themselves in favour of a break with England – and this after a No campaign in which the Tories were joined by Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the economy was strong and the Brexit referendum had yet to be confirmed.