NICOLA Sturgeon has weighed in on a growing devolution row over a reported attempt by the UK Government to exclude glass from Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS).

The former first minister made the comments after circular economy minister Lorna Slater blasted the move as showing “utter disregard for devolution”

On Friday morning, it emerged that the UK Government is likely to issue a “conditional agreement” that would permit Scotland to run a pilot of a UK-wide deposit return scheme.

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However, this would require glass to be removed from the scheme and prompted a furious response from Slater.

And, SNP MSP Sturgeon also weighed in on the row as it developed on Friday afternoon.

Taking to social media, the former first minister wrote: “‘You can have devolved powers but use them only if you do exactly what we tell you’ is not devolution in any meaningful sense.

“Increasingly obvious that real self-government requires independence.”

The UK Government is currently considering if the Scottish DRS can be exempted from the UK Internal Market Act, legislation brought in after Brexit to govern trade between the four nations of the UK.

Scotland is due to implement DRS in March next year, ahead of the rest of the UK the following year, and the UK Government has argued it will create barriers for trade.

Unlike the proposals for England and Northern Ireland, Scotland’s DRS currently includes glass bottles as well as plastic bottles and cans.

The BBC reported that other conditions on the DRS that could be imposed on Scotland include standardising the deposit charge, bar codes and labelling across the UK.

It has also been suggested that the UK will insist on a “reciprocal membership system” so that businesses who join anywhere in the UK are automatically signed up across all four nations.

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We told how Slater said Scottish government ministers had not been informed of any decision yet, and said UK ministers were treating Holyrood “with contempt”.

“If press reports are accurate, this would be an eleventh hour decision from the UK Government to unilaterally remove glass from Scotland’s Deposit Return Scheme which would ride roughshod over the devolution settlement, undermine our efforts to protect our environment and reduce climate emissions,” Slater said.

“We can see no justification for their reported actions, which would undermine their own climate targets.”

The Scotland Office has been contacted for comment.

It comes after Scottish Secretary Alister Jack claimed that Scottish Government ministers had not provided the correct paperwork on time to allow for an exemption for the Internal Market Act.

Slater refuted this in the Holyrood chamber last week, and said UK officials had asked for additional paperwork, which had been provided.

A row also broke out over which government would pay compensation to businesses, if the scheme collapsed.