BORIS Johnson's planned UK internal market will put Scotland's drinking water and clean beaches "in jeopardy", campaigners claim.

The Scottish Government could launch legal action against the PM's "power grab" plan to create a uniform single market and blanket standards across all four UK nations after Brexit.

Downing Street says this is needed to avoid trade barriers and complications between the countries

But devolved governments oppose the move, with Scotland's Constitution Secretary Michael Russell branding it a "major weakening of devolution" that "should not be permitted to take place".

The National:

Now eco charity coalition Scottish Environment LINK warns the change threatens the water we drink and the air we breathe.

It believes the move could create a race to the bottom, forcing Scotland to revoke or water-down legislation protecting its environment to mirror any lowering of standards in the rest of the UK.

This, it says, puts key species like puffins, golden eagles, otters and bottlenose dolphins at risk, as well as drinking water, beaches and food standards.

The National:

As much as 80% of our environmental protections currently come from EU membership.

The coalition's new campaign, Fight for Scotland’s Nature, aims to "prevent environmental protections for Scotland’s nature from being weakened post-Brexit".

The Scottish Government has committed to "maintain or exceed" current EU environment standards and published its EU Continuity Bill in June to set out how it plans to replace EU protections.

But Scottish Environment LINK wants the Scottish Parliament to strengthen the  bill to give greater powers and independence to Scotland’s new environment watchdog and to enshrine the standards commitment in law, requiring Scottish Ministers to keep pace with developments in EU environmental rules.

And it fears the UK proposals would force Scotland to "follow the lowest common denominator" if trade deals see current standards drop.

This, it says, could undermining efforts to combat climate change and biodiversity decline.

Charles Dundas, chair of Scottish Environment LINK, said: "Scotland’s world-renowned natural environment is central to all our lives and we must not allow arrangements for a UK internal market to put it in jeopardy by dragging down standards.

"At the same time, the Scottish Government’s commitment to maintain or exceed present EU standards should be enshrined in law and is something we have been pushing for. 

"High standards of environmental protection are essential if we are to achieve a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and tackle the joint crises of alarming nature loss and climate breakdown, the greatest challenges of our time."