MINISTERS in London will press ahead with their controversial Brexit legislation and the disputed “power grab” despite an overwhelmingly vote against their bill by MSPs last night.

David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, said the UK Government intended to proceed with the EU Withdrawal Bill in the Commons, minutes after the Scottish Parliament refused to grant formal consent. It is the first time in the 20-year history of devolution that Westminster will move forward with legislation which has been explicitly rejected by Holyrood, and sets the course for an unprecedented constitutional clash between the UK and Scottish Governments.

MIKE RUSSELL: The UK Government must respect Scotland's devolution settlement

Speaking after the vote, Mundell suggested UK ministers would proceed as planned and there would no pause to reflect on Holyrood’s decision.

He said: “It will be the first time this has happened, but it was something that was envisaged in the devolution settlement, that there might be circumstances where consent wouldn’t be given – and that circumstance would permit the Westminster Government to proceed with legislation on that basis and that’s what we intend to do.”

In a move which raised some prospect of there still being some room for manoeuvre, he went on to say there was still be an opportunity to reach an agreement between the UK and Scottish Governments.

ANALYSIS: Brexit Bill row shows weakness in UK’s devolution arrangement

“The bill is already in the system obviously and there will be opportunity for further debate and discussion in parliament but also between the two governments. I still think we can resolve this and that remains our objective,” Mundell added.

The irony of the situation was underlined by the First Minister in her response to Mundell.

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “UK Gov wants ScotParl to take it on trust that they won’t act without our consent on devolved powers in future – but within minutes of vote they say they will go ahead with #EUWithdrawalBill without our consent. @ScotParl did the right thing today – let’s hope UKG now listens.”

WATCH: Mike Russell's inspiring speech on protecting the Scottish Parliament

The exchange took place after an afternoon of heated arguments in the Holyrood chamber with SNP, Labour, the Greens and LibDems joining forces to reject the “power grab” which would see UK ministers hold onto 24 powers in devolved areas after Brexit, for up to seven years.

Opening the debate, Mike Russell spoke of the achievements of the Scottish Parliament over the past 19 years, citing legislation on free university tuition, free care for the elderly and equal marriage as among the benefits it had brought to people in Scotland, before warning that its work was now at risk.

“We have, and we use, those powers because we enjoy an established system of government called devolution. It might not be able to secure everything that all of us want, but devolution, which was put in place in 1999 and strengthened by subsequent agreement with Westminster, has made our system of governance robust enough to withstand expected and unexpected challenge and difficulty. It has been robust enough to withstand a global financial crash and to resist, at least in part, the misguided and damaging policy of austerity,” he said.

“Now it is our job to ensure that it is not cast aside because of a Brexit that Scotland did not vote for and which can only be damaging to our country. Today, the challenge of Brexit—or rather the challenge of the proposed power grab by the UK Tory Government under the guise of delivering Brexit—puts our devolved settlement at risk.”

The Scottish Government motion, making clear that Edinburgh Parliament “does not consent” to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was approved by 93 votes to 30. The Tories were alone in giving consent to the legislation.

After the vote Russell vowed it would “not be the end of the process” and said he will be writing to Theresa May’s de facto deputy, David Lidington, calling on him come to Scotland and hear “hear the concerns of all parties and to discuss with the Scottish Government and the UK Government any new ideas from any of the parties”.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the possibility of cross party talks on the row gave him hope there was time to “fix this mess”.