SCOTLAND’S new Tory MPs have now experienced the broken promises of Theresa May’s Government first hand, as the Prime Minister attempted to defend her failure to amend the Brexit repeal bill’s “power grab” clause.

Ministers were due to publish amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill yesterday. The proposed law, which will take Britain out of the EU, and, effectively, seek to convert all EU law to British law, includes a controversial clause that will see some 111 powers in devolved areas being repatriated immediately to London rather than coming to Edinburgh or going to Cardiff.

The clause has been described as a “naked power grab” by both Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.

At the end of last year, a commitment was made to MPs that the Government would bring forward a change to the Bill to reflect the devolved administrations’ anger and the call for change. However, Scottish Secretary David Mundell told the Scottish Government on Tuesday there had been some unexpected delays and the amendments had been postponed.

Instead, changes will be introduced in the House of Lords in early spring. The clause is the main stumbling block for the UK Government as it seeks to get consent for the repeal Bill from the Scottish and Welsh parliaments.

There is no chance MSPs or Welsh Assembly Members will support it as it stands. Tory politicians, too, have said they would find it hard to support. Yesterday, the Scottish Government said it would bring forward its own EU Continuity Bill to prepare Scotland’s laws for Brexit.

In a letter to senior Holyrood officials, Brexit Minister Michael Russell and parliamentary business minister Joe Fitzpatrick said their preference was to “work collaboratively with the UK Government on the legislative consequences of EU withdrawal”. But they added: “Discussions continue on the potential for amendments to be made, but as things stand we need to prepare responsibly for the possibility of consent being withheld.

“To that end, our officials are developing a Continuity Bill for Scotland. This letter is intended to give you and your officials notice of the likely introduction of this bill in February and its submission to you for pre-introduction scrutiny later this month.”

Russell and Fitzpatrick said the move did not mean that they had rejected the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill, but “unless and until the necessary changes to the bill are made, the Scottish Government must provide for an alternative so that in any scenario there is a legis- lative framework in place for protecting Scotland’s system of laws from the disruption of UK withdrawal from the EU”.

SNP leader Ian Blackford attacked Theresa May on the matter during Prime Minister’s Questions. May insisted the Government would stick to its promise to “look to improve Clause 11” and then seemed to blame the Welsh and Scottish governments for the Tory Party’s lack of action.

She said: “We are looking to work with the devolved administrations to ensure that we put the right frameworks in place so that, when we come to bring forward any amendment, it is done in the best possible way in the interests of all concerned. I thought that had been accepted by the Scottish National party, but we will be looking to bring forward amendments in the Lords.”

Blackford said this simply wasn’t good enough. Mundell, he added, had promised a “powers bonanza” for Scotland. “The Tories always promise Scotland everything and deliver nothing,” Blackford added.

Scottish Labour’s shadow secretary of state, Lesley Laird, said Mundell had broken a promise to his own MPs. “David Mundell has broken his promise in the most extraordinary terms and must now come to the House to rectify the record on the commitment he made last month,” she said.

“These new Scottish Tory MPs have been outmanoeuvred, overruled and now bypassed. But however naive they have been up to now and however embarrassed they must feel, they must come to their senses.

“The Scottish Tory MPs now have one last chance to do the right thing. They must put party politics aside, stand up for the devolution settlement and parliamentary democracy and back Labour’s amendment.”