The National:

TORY ministers have repeatedly insisted that their Internal Market Bill is not in fact a power grab.

Boris Johnson claims it is “possibly the biggest single act of devolution" in the UK’s history.

People that have actually read the bill, however, have a rather different opinion.

As the legislation is debated in the Commons, Mhairi Black pointed out one or two minor concerns about the proposals.

Namely that it will facilitate the seizure of powers from devolved administrations.

She began: “Devolution has allowed us in Scotland to carve out a path that is different to the rest of the UK, wherever necessary, for the last 20 years. And to understand how this bill attacks devolution, you only need to read clause 46.”

The clause states that UK minister can “provide financial assistance to any person for infrastructure”. Section two explains that infrastructure includes health, education, transport, court and prison facilities, housing, water, electricity and the provision of heat.

Black continued: “The only reason that we are able to have publicly owned fresh water in Scotland is because the Scottish Parliament has made it so. This bill explicitly gives any minister of the Crown permission to run riot with the very assets of Scotland that our Scottish Parliament has protected.

“Nowhere in the bill does it state that permission must be obtained from the devolved governments in order to do so.”

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The SNP MP added: “This Internal Market Bill will allow Westminster to bypass our Scottish Parliament in the hope that we don’t notice. But we are noticing.

“It took us 300 years to get our Scottish Parliament and 20 years for Westminster to put a bulldozer right through it."

That’s where Black’s speech came to an end, with the deputy Speaker interjecting to move the debate on.

Nonetheless, it’s fair to say that the SNP MP got her message across.