THE Law Society of Scotland has warned that the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill being debated in the Commons today “would remove the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament”.

In a stark and unusually brutal warning from the professional body, they describe the Bill as “complex, difficult to interpret and lacking in clarity”.

Graham Matthews, president of the society, expressed doubts that MPs would have either enough time or understanding to do their jobs effectively.

“Given the tight timescales involved, we think that MPs will have a difficult task in examining the bill and therefore the UK Government should be generous and permissive with suggestions to clarify or make improvements as the bill progresses,” he said.

The Law Society said they have concerns the legislation could lead to the “erosion” of human rights.

Matthews said: “We have particular concerns around plans to exclude the Charter of Fundamental Rights from domestic law. We believe the UK Government should reconsider this because of the possible erosion of human rights if it is removed.”

On devolution, Matthews joined calls from the first ministers of Scotland and Wales, warning of a Whitehall power grab.

“We believe there needs to be a whole of governance approach to the UK withdrawal from the EU, which takes into account the devolved administrations and other key organisations and representative groups to ensure this complex Bill works properly,” he said.

“The effect of the Bill would be to remove the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament in relation to any matter in retained EU law.

“This would be the case even if it related to areas of law not reserved to the UK under the Scotland Act, such as agriculture or fisheries.”

Though debate on the Bill starts today, the first votes are expected on Monday.

Writing for a newspaper, Dominic Grieve, the former Tory Attorney General, expressed fears about the powers the Bill will give ministers, saying it would enable the Government to “carry out Brexit in breach of our constitutional principles, in a manner that no sovereign parliament should allow”.