THE Scottish Parliament is being told to give Whitehall powers over agriculture, fishing, environmental policy, public procurement and food standards, without knowing how they will work, how they’ll be regulated or how or when they’ll be handed back to Holyrood, Michael Russell has claimed.

In a letter to all MSPs, the Scottish Brexit secretary warns that the Tory government in London want the devolution settlement changed “without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.”

The minister’s letter comes after David Lidington, Theresa May’s de-facto deputy, pushed forward with plans to amend Clause 11 of the EU withdrawal bill, despite not having the support of the Scottish or Welsh governments.

READ: Mike Russell's full letter to all MSPs after UK Govt pushes through power grab amendments

The Tory amends will see the UK government keep control of 24 powers in devolved areas due to be repatriated from Brussels to Britain after Brexit.

Russell, in his letter, said the fact that the UK Government have tabled the amendments was proof that their “original approach was deeply flawed.”

He said he recognised that there had been some movement, but not nearly enough: “The amendments replace the previous blanket reservation of devolved areas which are subject to retained EU law, with a power for the UK Government to make regulations in the UK Parliament imposing such a restriction in any such devolved areas.

“In exercising this power the UK Government would only be under a duty to consult the devolved administrations and provide information to the UK Parliament on the effect of the regulations and that consultation. There would be no need for such changes to be agreed by the Devolved Parliaments or Governments.”

Russell said that would mean the UK Government could ultimately make regulations in face of opposition from the devolved administrations.

He also pointed out that there were no time limits on how long the devolved powers would rest with the UK government.

This, the minister said, was entirely at the “discretion of the UK Government.” “Unlike other regulation-making powers in the Bill, there is no provision for this power to expire. Nor is there any guarantee that any restrictions would end. Under its amendments that is entirely at the discretion of the UK Government and they have refused to agree to a sunset clause”

In his letter, the minister also reveals that there is a dispute between the UK Government on Geographical Food Indicators and State Aids, with the Tories saying they’re reserved and the SNP government in Edinburgh, and the Labour government in Wales claiming they’re devolved.

“There can be no justification for the UK Government to take these powers to unilaterally impose changes to devolution, to disregard the rights of the Scottish Parliament and ride roughshod over the devolution settlement, a settlement which reflects the settled will of the Scottish people.”

Yesterday morning, Downing Street insisted the UK Government wanted to reach an agreement. 

May is set for talks with Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones on Wednesday.

"This is a very important piece of legislation for delivering a smooth Brexit and we continue to engage with the devolved administrations to reach agreement on this," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

"What we are focused on is reaching agreement, that's where our intention is."