THE Scottish Government will call on MSPs to withhold consent for Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill.

Ahead of a possible recall of Holyrood on Thursday, Brexit Secretary Michael Russell said the Prime Minister’s attempt to get legislation on the books before the Halloween deadline was “irresponsible and disrespectful of the legislatures of these islands and the devolution settlements”.

Johnson's Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) – the legislation to make his deal with the EU law – was published late last night. It lists areas where the UK Parliament will need to legislate in devolved areas.

Normally, under the Sewel convention, this wouldn't happen without the Scottish Parliament’s consent.

With SNP, Labour, LibDem and Green MSPs all likely to vote to refuse consent, Westminster will need to impose WAB to get it through.

It will be only the second time in Holyrood’s 20-year history that the Government has overruled the devolved parliament.

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In a letter to Tory Brexit Minister James Duddridge, Russell said that leaving the EU was “not the will of the people of Scotland”, and, he added, Johnson’s deal “will be damaging to Scotland and to the United Kingdom”.

He said: "This is one of the most important pieces of legislation ever to be considered by the UK and Scottish parliaments as the implementation of the withdrawal agreement involves a fundamental adjustment to the constitution of our nations.

“It is essential that it should receive scrutiny in all of the UK’s legislatures, that there should be the proper opportunity for civil society to consider it and for citizens to understand its meaning and significance, and for all constitutional conventions, including the Sewel Convention, to be respected during its passage.”

He added: “Scottish ministers will support any scrutiny of this Bill that the Scottish Parliament is able to do in the time available, and we expect too that the Scottish Parliament’s views on its provisions should be given weight.”

SNP MPs in Westminster have tabled an amendment to the WAB, which declines a second reading of the Bill if the Scottish Parliament refuses to give its consent.

Tory constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins claimed the SNP was thinking only of independence: “The SNP government has calculated which course of action is most likely to drive up grievance and resentment, then acted accordingly.

“This isn’t an administration serious about making Brexit work for the people of Scotland.

“It wants to do the opposite, and is now openly coveting a no-deal scenario because it thinks that will boost support for separation.

“As a government, the SNP’s behaviour has been abhorrent, and is an insult to the people it is meant to be governing.”