THERESA May’s right-hand man has insisted the Tories will not change their position on the Brexit Great Repeal Bill, despite opposition from the parliaments of Wales and Scotland.

Damian Green, the First Secretary of State, and in effect the Deputy Prime Minister, was speaking yesterday morning after the previous day’s meeting with Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Scottish Brexit secretary Michael Russell.

The top Tory insisted a deal could be reached, but it would have to be the SNP and not his party who rolled over.

Formerly known as the Great Repeal Bill, the UK Government’s European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will take Britain out of the EU and start the lengthy, complicated process of transferring all European law into British and Scottish law.

Hundreds of pieces of secondary legislation will need to be in place in Scotland before the UK actually quits the EU, and Holyrood chiefs are reportedly drawing up plans for the Scottish Parliament to sit late into the night to work on the necessary legislation.

The day job of Scotland’s 129 MSPs between now and Brexit will be almost entirely focussed on ensuring Scotland has the necessary legislation in place to guarantee some sort of legal continuity.

While the Scottish Government wants most EU policy areas currently devolved to Edinburgh automatically returned to Scotland at Brexit, the UK Government believes they should first go to London.

When the repeal bill was published in July, Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones called it a “naked power grab”.

The Scottish Government say the repeal bill as published would see powers over 110 devolved policy areas taken out of the hands of Scots.

The two leaders said unless this was changed they would recommend their respective parliaments refuse to consent to the Bill.

But Green told reporters in Edinburgh yesterday that the bill will go through as is when Westminster votes next month.

“We expect that to go through, we will argue our case for the Bill,” he said.

He added: “We want to agree on which powers are best exercised where. It’s clearly of huge benefit to people in Scotland and the rest of the UK that there is a free market inside the United Kingdom, I don’t think anyone wants to disrupt trade and business inside the UK, so we have to avoid that.

“So in some cases there will need to be a UK-wide framework. But with that very large caveat what we’re seeking to do is to ensure that as fast as possible we can pass through powers that are properly exercised in Scotland to Scotland.”

He said the situation is a “long way away” from one where Holyrood would refuse to grant a legislative consent motion for the Bill.

“This whole process will take months, both the legislative process and the discussions,” he added.

“This process should end up with more powers coming to Scotland than are exercised here at the moment. We get there by agreeing what those powers should be, and when we’ve got to that point I can’t imagine the Scottish Government is going to object to that.

“We had a perfectly sensible discussion yesterday, we’ve agreed to carry on talking about the various issues on which we currently disagree, as well as the many things we agree about, and I think those discussions will reach a successful conclusion.

“I think the difficulties now will disappear at the end, that’s the point of having these talks, so we can resolve these issues.

“It’s hugely in the interests of people in Scotland that we do reach a successful conclusion.”

A spokesman for Sturgeon said the Scottish Government was adamant that the clause in the Withdrawal Bill which would repatriate the EU powers to Whitehall had to be rewritten.

“We’re quite clear that the bill as it stands must be changed for us to be in a position where we can give legislative consent,” he said.

Though a majority of MSPs refusing to give consent to the Bill cannot stop Brexit or derail the legislation, it would be unprecedented for May to ignore the will of Holyrood and press on regardless.