A LEAKED paper has revealed the Tories are pushing on with preparations to introduce their “power grab” bill.

The memo, snapped by a photographer while a staff member from the Scotland Office was standing outside on a cigarette break, has sparked outrage, particularly because the governments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast have yet to see the legislation.

Scottish constitutional affairs secretary, Michael Russell tweeted that the “devolved administrations had just been asking (with no success) to see the bill”.

He added that instead of asking to see the proposed legislation - for which he has already vowed to fight “tooth and nail” - he should “just have ambled past Dover House”, where the Scotland Office has its London office.

The photo taken by Steve Back, and shared on his PoliticalPics Twitter account, revealed that the UK Government will move to establish “a new independent Office for the Internal Market” to “monitor the smooth running” of the legislation.

The SNP warned that the move would be “the biggest raid on devolution since 1999”.

The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “The leaked pictures confirm what we have been warning about since these proposals first emerged – the Tories are preparing to overrule the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament and are laying the groundwork for the biggest raid on devolution since 1999.

“Despite the decisive rejection from the Scottish Parliament, the Tories are intent on undermining devolution and continuing with their power grab plans.

“The SNP remain firmly opposed to this power grab and the Tory Government must step back from these plans that will take a wrecking ball to the very foundations of the devolution settlement.”

Ministers in London have long claimed Scotland is on course for extra responsibilities when Britain crashes out of the EU next year.

But as this could lead to different regulatory regimes in the UK the Tory Government has drawn up a trade bill to underpin the internal market. At the heart of that is a “mutual recognition” mechanism. This would see regulations in one part of the UK recognised in all the other nations.

There’s a fear that could ultimately lead to lower standards in food safety and environmental protections being imposed on Scotland.

It’s feared that this mutual recognition, could be the responsibility of this new Office for the Internal Market.

Health campaigners, farmers and groups across Scotland have already set out their opposition to the plans. Last month the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly voted to reject the proposals by 92 votes to 31.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said the Tories were “taking their contempt for Scotland to new levels”.

He added: “The Tories’ internal market proposal was subject to a very short consultation, with no draft bill presented, and which took place while the Scottish Parliament was in recess.

“Now just three weeks after the consultation closed it seems ministers are already singing off the press release, but still nobody has seen the legislation.”

He added: “The UK Government has taken its contempt for Scotland to new levels during this process. It has refused to discuss this assault on devolution with MSPs and it has declined to show the draft legislation to devolved administrations.

“It’s no wonder that a growing majority in Scotland are coming to the realisation that Scotland’s interests are best served by taking our future into our own hands.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “We’ve been clear that we will be legislating to protect the UK’s vital internal market when the Transition Period ends.

“This will protect trade and jobs and ensure that goods can continue to travel barrier-free throughout the UK, as has been the case for hundreds of years.

“Following our consultation, we are now preparing this legislation. Further details will be confirmed in due course.”