Scottish ministers press Damian Green for return of powers from EU

GETTYThe devolved administrations of Scotland & Wales are demanding changes to the Repeal Bill

GETTYThe devolved administrations of Scotland & Wales are demanding changes to the Repeal Bill

The Scottish government has warned of the risk of a "power grab" by Westminster as powers return from Brussels following Brexit.

Ahead of a meeting Wednesday, Scottish Brexit Minister Michael Russell called on the United Kingdom government to abandon its 'attempted power grab'.

SNP ministers are to demand the UK Government abandons its Brexit "power grab" during talks with Theresa May's closest cabinet ally in Edinburgh today.

Mr Russell said that, in its current form, the bill would give Westminster "exclusive control over significant areas of devolved policy", including farming, the environment and fishing.

"We know that the United Kingdom government has its eye on more than 100 policy areas".

Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who will also attend the talks, has previously spoken of powers "bonanza" for Holyrood.

There is now no sign of any of the new powers we were told during the European Union referendum would be coming to Scotland, such as over immigration.

"The UK Government is pursuing an extreme Brexit which will damage jobs and the economy by forcing us out of the world's biggest market-place".

The British government's plan to convert the vast majority of EU law and regulation into United Kingdom law - known as the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, or Repeal Bill - was met with intense criticism from the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales when it was presented in July. "That is a direct threat to the devolution settlement which the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voted for in 1997".

"In some areas there will need to be a common approach", he said. We are not opposed in principle to UK-wide frameworks in certain areas - but this must be on the basis of agreement among equals, not imposed by Westminster.

"Both we and the Welsh Government have made it clear we could not recommend legislative consent to the bill as it stands, and today we will make clear that changes must be made to protect devolution".

Ahead of the meeting, the first secretary said that the government expects there will be "significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration".

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