HOLYROOD could be forced to spend time working on 200 new pieces of legislation if MSPs get bogged down in no-deal Brexit “heavy lifting”.

Scottish Brexit minister, Michael Russell told the parliament that his government would “take a coherent, consistent and collaborative approach to making preparations for EU exit,” but, he added, there was a lot of work still to do, and not a huge amount of information being shared by Whitehall.

“The deficiencies in our statute book that have already been identified – the areas where change must be made – are many and varied,” he said. “We need to correct hundreds of pieces of legislation, not a mere handful. But we have no choice.”

“Up to 200 pieces of legislation may need to pass through Holyrood,” Russell said. “That’s a heavy burden – it could be heavier still if Westminster is not willing to co-operate sensibly,” he added.

He also told MSPs that £27 million of additional funding had been set aside for “specific EU-exit related demands”.

He added the government was working on civil contingency plans in areas where a no deal outcome could have an “immediate and direct effect on citizens”.

The UK Government has already published a series of technical notices designed to prepare the UK for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

Russell added: “After the next two tranches of technical notices are issued we will consider publishing our own supplementary guidance if we feel it can be useful, and if it does not add to the momentum around a no deal, which could be an unforeseen outcome.”

He continued: “However carefully we prepare for a no deal scenario, it will still result in chaos.

“Even the UK Government’s own no deal plans will require a plethora of agreements with the EU in order to work effectively.

“In a situation where negotiations have broken down, we have to ask how plausible this is.”

Scottish Labour’s Brexit spokesman Neil Findlay said he had “serious concerns about the lack of detail” on the government’s planning.

“With the Tories becoming ever more factional by the day and the Chequers deal sinking, it is right that the Scottish Government prepares for every scenario,” he said.

“But the reality is the SNP has provided scant detail on the nature of its preparations, focusing instead on spin and rhetoric over substance.”

Green co-convener Patrick Harvie also urged the government to provide more information to “reassure” the public.

Tory spokesman, Adam Tomkins accused Russell and Scottish ministers of “empty posturing on Brexit”.

He pointed to news on Monday that Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, had expressed hope that there could be an agreement on May’s Chequers plan and the terms of the UK’s exit by early November.

Tomkins added: “On one level, we have to feel sorry for Mike Russell. He is desperate to be the herald of doom, but he is today contradicted over and again by Michel Barnier, no less. The EU’s chief negotiator said yesterday that it is perfectly possible to reach a deal on Brexit in the next six to eight weeks. That is good news, but the Scottish National Party does not want to hear it. Everything that it says about Brexit is negative. The only thing that is being stockpiled here is ministerial grievance and tired political cliche.”

The outlook, he added, was not as “gloomy” as the SNP had predicted.