A NEW paper has shown the impact of the UK Government imposing authority over Holyrood.

The ability of the Scottish Parliament to take decisions for the benefit of people across Scotland is being curtailed by the actions of the UK Government, Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson has said.

The new paper details a “worrying trend” on how the UK Government has imposed increasing control over devolved policy matters, against the wishes of the Scottish Parliament, since Brexit.

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Prior to Brexit, Westminster governments had never passed new laws in devolved policy areas without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

The report finds that it has now done so on nine occasions, with that number set to increase over the coming months.

Robertson said: “The Scottish Parliament was set up because people in Scotland voted for it, but the Westminster government is rolling back on that democratic process.

“Under the cover of Brexit, they are imposing direct Westminster rule by stealth and curtailing the ability of the Parliament to take decisions for the benefit of people in Scotland.

“What we have seen so far is the thin edge of the wedge. UK Government ministers have given themselves the power to subject healthcare and water services in Scotland to UK-wide so called ‘market access’ principles.”

The paper draws on numerous examples of the UK Government’s actions including “reducing funding available to Scotland compared to that expected from UK equivalent EU funding schemes” and “taking forward legislation that puts at risk EU laws on environmental protection, food standards and other devolved matters”.

Robertson added: “The evidence the Scottish Government is presenting today sets out the range of underhand mechanisms UK Government ministers are using to undermine the democratically-elected Scottish Parliament and exert tightening Westminster control on Scottish life.

“I hope that this evidence will be used by all those who value the Scottish Parliament and wish to protect this essential national democratic institution.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “The UK Government is delivering on the priorities that matter to people in Scotland and making devolution work for them.

“There is a huge amount to be done - continuing to tackle the cost of living, halving inflation and growing Scotland’s economy. This is where our focus should be, not constantly debating the constitutional settlement.

“The Scottish Parliament is one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world and our exit from the EU further increased its powers.

“We want to work collaboratively and constructively with the Scottish Government, as demonstrated by positive joint working on crucial programmes of work, like growing the Scottish economy through our City and Growth Deals and Green Freeports.”