SCOTLAND’S Parliament is at risk of death by 111 power grabs, the SNP’s Brexit Minister has claimed. Michael Russell told MSPs yesterday that the Tories’ EU Repeal Bill, which passed its first parliamentary hurdle early yesterday morning, would “alter permanently the fundamental principle of devolution” and lead to more decisions being taken for Scotland by London.

Russell said the Scottish Government could not ask MSPs to agree to the Bill in its current form, and would therefore not bring forward a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM).

The Tories accused him of stoking a grievance and playing politics.

Russell told Holyrood: “The EU Withdrawal Bill appears to represent a deliberate decision by the UK Government to use the process of Brexit as cover for taking powers in areas of policy which are clearly within the responsibility of this Parliament.

“In areas of Scottish devolved res- ponsibility vital to the success of our country, such as agriculture, the environment, fisheries, forestry, research, or justice cooperation, the Scottish Parliament will have no say over what comes back from the EU on withdrawal or what is done with these important policy areas afterwards.”

During a radio interview earlier Russell had said: “In agriculture, fisheries, in environment – in 111 areas I think – there are intersections of what they call European competence with Scottish Parliament competence.”

He then added: “So in every one of those 111 things which touch the lives of everybody in Scotland – farming, fishing, environment, justice, education – in all those areas the intention is that the UK Government will take those powers. They have not said they will return a single one of those powers, which deal with devolved areas, to the Scottish Parliament, or to the Welsh Assembly and so with Northern Ireland.”

Russell said the only appropriate way to deal properly with the powers being repatriated from Brussels, which were in devolved competencies, was to give them straight to devolved ministers and devolved legislatures.

“Thereafter, there will be space, time and willingness to agree co- operation over the shared use of these powers in a way which respected the responsibility of this Parliament to hold to account those who make decisions in devolved areas,” Russell added.

The Scottish and the Welsh governments are working jointly on a series of amendments to the Withdrawal Bill, due to be presented to ministers soon.

Scottish Tory deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said his party would meet Russell to work on a way forward to bring an LCM in front of MSPs.

He said: “The SNP are seemingly ever in want of grievance – but now is not the time for that. It’s clear that Brexit is not politics as normal. If there is genuine concern matched by an equally genuine resolve to address and overcome this, then the Scottish Conservatives at Holyrood will play our part.

“We are keen to work to a position where we can all feel able to secure an LCM the Scottish Government will have confidence in placing before this Parliament.”

A spokesman for the Greens said the Repeal Bill was “dangerous and undemocratic, giving UK Government ministers powers invented for and by a 16th-century tyrant king”. He added: “They would gain the ability to go as far as removing the rights of citizens resident in this country without so much as a vote in Parliament. The Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government should hold to a higher standard.”

Labour’s Lewis Macdonald said: “Labour will not grant legislative consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill, in its current form. It represents a Tory power grab that concentrates power in the hands of ministers and drives a coach and horses through the devolution settlement delivered by Labour in 1999.

“This is a time for cool heads and grown-up politics. Labour will seek to amend the Bill at Westminster to support devolution. We need a guarantee from the SNP that it will support those amendments.”

Less than 12 hours after MPs had voted the Bill through, some 157 amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill had been published.

Many MPs have doubts over the so-called Henry VIII powers that allow ministers to change legislation without full parliamentary scrutiny.

Hilary Benn, the Labour MP who chairs the Brexit select committee, said: “The Government was left in no doubt by the two days of debate that it’s going to have to change this Bill.

“There were concerns expressed on all sides of the House about the nature of the powers that the Government is proposing taking on to itself. The Bill will come out of the committee looking rather different from how it looks today.”