THE SNP have hit out at the Tories’ power grab bill for containing measures which “attack the foundations of devolution” in Scotland.

Drew Hendry, the party’s business spokesman, took aim at the Brexit Internal Market Bill, saying it proves Scotland will never be an equal partner in the UK.

Speaking on the first day of the bill’s committee stage, Hendry said: “We cannot and we will not accept this legislation in any form.

The bill will breach international law as it overrides key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the UK and the EU.

It includes a significant shake-up of state aid and spending rules, and more power being handed to London over regulations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The bill was passed in the House of Commons on Monday night.

READ MORE: Michael Russell says there's no trust left between Holyrood and Westminster

The legislation completed the first day of committee stage yesterday without being changed as an SNP amendment and Labour amendment were both comfortably defeated by the Government. Earlier, Hendry criticised proposals for a new office to monitor the internal market, arguing such a body would have an “effective veto” over the Scottish Parliament and was part of a system in which Westminster would set standards for devolved areas.

Ministers have denied the bill represents a power grab but instead offers a “power surge” for devolved governments.

Hendry said: “We cannot and we will not accept this legislation in any form. Under the unelected Dominic Cummings, Britain’s Prime Minister is forcing this power grab through despite overwhelming opposition from Scotland’s Parliament and MPs. It proves Scotland will never ever be accepted as an equal partner in the UK. This attacks the foundations of devolution and gives Westminster and an unelected quango a freehand to overrule the Scottish Parliament in devolved areas, threatening our NHS, our food and environmental standards and fires the starting pistol on a race to the bottom.”

SNP colleague Alyn Smith also hit out at the proposed Office for the Internal Market, which would comprise “a group of people who will themselves be unelected”. He said: “For people who are against unelected bureaucrats, I can only suggest that they have a look at the reality of this bill.”

But Tory MP Sir Bill Cash, chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, said: “The arguments I’ve heard from [Hendry] are in my judgment completely unjustified.

“The reality is what is intended in this Bill is to provide for independent advice and monitoring through the creation of this internal market itself, within the Competition and Markets Authority arrangements.

“What that clearly says, far from it being just a bunch of nodding donkeys, which is more or less what [Hendry] is saying, in fact it will be a non-ministerial department albeit sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – it will have an enormous amount of range of experience and knowledge, which is brought from its predecessor.”

SNP MP Neale Hanvey branded the proposed Office for the Internal Market the “office of inquisition”.

He said: “This office, which will have the power to pass judgment on devolved laws, could quickly become the target of rich corporate lobbyists determined to see activities such as fracking go ahead against the will of the Scottish people.”