Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Mike Russell said he is “cautious about going to court” but stressed there are “maybe a range of legal options”. A Scottish Government source told Express.co.uk that “all options are on the table”.
But Downing Street insist the legislation will see more powers transferred to all the devolved governments.
From January 1st, when the UK’s transition period comes to an end, powers will be returned from Brussels to the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they stated.
The Sewel Convention, which underpins the relationship between the UK Government in London and administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, states Westminster will “not normally” pass legislation in devolved areas without their consent.
But Michael Russell has, however, vowed the Scottish Government will not consent to the Bill so Westminster is now expected to leglisate on behalf of the devolved nations on the Bill through an override in the convention.
Speaking during Holyrood’s Finance and Consitution Committee, Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie, questioned if it is time for Scottish ministers to go to court to resolve the issue of UK ministers legislating in devolved areas.
He said the convention of Westminster “not normally” legislating in devolved areas had been altered by the UK Government.
Mr Harvie said: “Not normally apparently to the UK Government just means unless we feel like it, not unless we want to. Is it not time for the Scottish Government to take that to court and seek a judicial review on what that means?”
Mr Russell said while the UK Government had adopted an “overbearing approach” he is “cautious always about going to court”, noting the UK’s unwritten constitution could be difficult to enforce.
But he told Mr Harvie he has not ruled out such action, adding: “I am not going to necessarily advertise those actions before they are taken.
“I have not ruled out any actions at all and I hear clearly what you are saying.
“There are maybe a range of legal options in front of us but I wouldn’t like to go any further than that at this stage.”
It comes as the Scottish Government has introduced the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill to Scots law to “keep pace” with EU law in devolved areas, where they believe this is appropriate.
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The discretionary powers will come into effect after the transition period ends on December 31.
The Bill also includes provisions to ensure EU environment principles and governance can continue in Scotland.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, added today: “The UK Government are not only set to break international law – it is clear they are now set to break devolution.
“The Tories’ proposed Bill for a so-called UK internal market is an abomination.
“It is a naked power grab which would cripple devolution.”
But Downing Street denied the UK Internal Market Bill is a power grab and said devolved administrations will instead see a “power surge”.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Absolutely not. What the devolved administrations will enjoy is a power surge when the transition period ends in December.
“There will be no change to the powers the devolved administrations already have and the vast majority of powers with devolved competencies returning from Brussels will go straight to Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff Bay.
“This will be a significant increase in the powers of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Parliament, and the Northern Ireland Assembly, which are already among the most powerful devolved administrations in the world.
“Where powers are coming back to the UK Government this is to protect the economy.”