THE UK Government has been accused of another "outrageous power grab" after legal experts sounded a warning over Tory legislation on Brexit.

There are concerns that the Retained EU Law Bill could give UK ministers unprecedented powers to scrap European Union laws – including in devolved areas.

The bill seeks to revoke over 2400 pieces of EU legislation that were included in the UK statute book at the end of the Brexit transition period.

The Scottish Government previously lodged a Legislative Consent Memorandum urging Holyrood to withhold its consent for the UK bill.

READ MORE: UK planning another power grab on Scottish Parliament, Holyrood committee warns

Speaking at Holyrood’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee, Dr Emily Hancox, a law lecturer at the University of Bristol, said the bill changed “the division of powers” in the UK.

She said: “[The bill] does change in some ways the division of powers in the sense that it grants UK Government ministers of the Crown powers over considerable retained EU law which will include many statutory instruments, including Scottish statutory instruments without any proposal for a consent mechanism.”

Dr Kirsty Hood KC, of the Faculty of Advocates, agreed, saying: “The issues are twofold. The first one is the extent to which in practice the bill allows UK ministers to move into the devolved space and the reality of the mechanism involved is that it does so where consent from the Scottish Parliament will not necessarily be required."

Charles Livingstone, partner at Brodies LLP Solicitors, told MSPs it was “striking” that the UK Government would want to interfere in devolved policy areas.

He said: “The inclusion of powers for the UK Government in [devolved] areas is indicative of a little bit of a habit having been formed by earlier Brexit legislation.”

The lawyer suggested there was no practical reason why UK ministers should step into devolved areas if the Scottish Parliament has denied consent.

The experts expressed their concerns over the bill’s sunset provision which will see all EU laws scrapped or reinstated by the end of 2023.

Michael Clancy OBE, director of Law Reform at the Law Society of Scotland said the timescape of the bill was "unjustified".

He said the number of EU laws could reach 5000 in total, which has prompted concern about a lack of scrutiny over the legislation.

Livingstone added that there was concern about Holyrood being unable to have “sufficient input or scrutiny” into the legislation.

Civil servants have suggested it could take six years to go through all the European laws on the statute books.

Dr Hood echoed these comments, saying: "The Hansard Society have raised concerns about a lack of scrutiny in the way that legislation could be passed at Westminster, and obviously if those powers were used in the devolved space, as it were, then obviously that would have a concern then for [the Scottish] Parliament, because obviously if there is a concern about scrutiny in the way that the laws are being passed, then obviously that is a concern for this parliament as to whether there has been sufficient input or scrutiny.”

Commenting, SNP MSP Alasdair Allan said: "Due to the Tories’ botched Brexit being forced on Scotland by Westminster, we face an all-out attack on Scotland's democratic parliament in the form of another outrageous power grab.

“The Tories want to strip back vital regulations that have protected everything from Scottish food standards to workers’ rights for more than 50 years."

"To bring in replacement laws to protect all these important safeguards would be a massive task. Despite many of the laws being in devolved areas, UK ministers are awarding themselves the powers to make changes to them.

“And for what purpose? Repealing thousands of laws just because they were brought in when Britain was in Europe may satisfy some twisted pro-Brexit need in the Tory party but that is not much of a justification.

"It is particularly unacceptable when the Scottish Parliament need flexibility to legislate to protect the people of the country from the worst of this Tory cost-of-living crisis."

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Allan said Westminster should not be allowed to "ride roughshod" over the Scottish Parliament.

He continued: "The Scottish Government should not be left constantly to mitigate the damage done to our environment, food standards and workers’ rights as a result of Westminster control.

"The only way to keep Scotland safe is to become an independent country and rid ourselves of Westminster control for good."

The UK Government has been approached for comment.