MEMBERS of the Scottish Parliament will today hold a closed-door meeting in the House of Lords to urge peers to drop a “power grab” clause in the Brexit Bill.

Bruce Crawford, convener of the Finance and Constitution Committee, will attend private talks with members of the second chamber’s cross-party Constitution Committee along with unspecified MSP colleagues.

It is not known which of the 12-person Lords panel will attend, but the members include former deputy first minister Jim Wallace and former Scotland Office minister Andrew Dunlop.

The session will focus on clause 11 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which would see more than 100 powers related to devolved policy areas – such as fisheries, civil justice and the environment – returned to Westminster instead of Holyrood.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has branded this a “power grab”, but the UK Government says devolved parliaments will gain more powers after Brexit, and claims the move is needed to ensure regulatory consistency.

Criticism has also been levelled by MSPs from across Scotland’s political spectrum and, in submissions to the Finance and Constitution Committee filed last week, law experts insisted clause 11 is misguided and damaging.

The comments, which have not yet been reported, reveal the extent of the threat to Holyrood’s competency.

In his highly critical submission, Professor Rick Rawlings of University College London said: “The sooner clause 11 of the Withdrawal Bill is cast aside, the better. Constitutionally maladroit, it warps the dialogue about the role and place of the domestic market concept post-Brexit.

“As such, the occupation of legislative and executive space in the Withdrawal Bill appears not only a risky venture but also a lazy one. An unthinking form of ‘Greater England’ unionism, which assumes only limited territorial difference, would be another way of characterising this.”

Meanwhile, Dundee University professor Alan Page said: “Brexit has the potential to seriously weaken the UK’s territorial constitution and with it the Scottish devolution settlement. It will alter the balance of powers and responsibilities between the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament – regardless of the outcome of the current dispute over whether EU competences in the devolved areas should be allowed to lie where they fall under the devolution settlement.

“The majority of EU competences are reserved under the Scotland Act 1998 and will therefore fall to London rather than Edinburgh.”

On the “weakness of UK intergovernmental relations”, he went on: “One of the purposes of a properly functioning system of intergovernmental relations should be to ensure that the interests of the devolved nations are properly taken into account in the exercise of non-devolved or reserved responsibilities, but that is a role which the current system performs patchily at best.”

Crawford told The National that today’s meeting is about sharing the Scottish Parliament’s concerns. He said: “Clause 11, as it currently stands, seriously undermines the principle of devolution, moving from a reserved powers model to a conferred powers model. The original devolution settlement was designed by the late Donald Dewar, who was a very clever man in the way he set it up, but clause 11 will seriously undermine what he set out to achieve.

“There is no question that unless clause 11 is changed or removed, the Scottish Parliament will not vote through a legislative consent motion on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.”

The House of Lords said it would not comment on a private meeting.