IF there’s ever an example of how devolution isn’t working, it’s the deposit return scheme. Scotland was set to be the first country in the UK to introduce a system of consumers paying a refundable deposit of 20p for drinks in plastic, glass and cans, joining more than 45 other countries around the world that have similar schemes.

The aims include reducing litter and greenhouse gas emissions, increase recycling and shifting costs of recovery of containers away from local authorities onto producers.

Legislation to enable DRS was consulted on, scrutinised, voted and passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2020. True, it’s not been without its difficulties, with debate about the scheme’s readiness and implementation resulting in delays to the start.

But now there’s a question over whether it can go ahead at all, thanks to the UK Government.

Because Scotland wanted to introduce the scheme first, ministers north of the Border had to seek an exemption from the Internal Market, introduced after Brexit to apparently ensure “smooth trade” across the UK.

At the time, there were warnings this legislation was a “blatant power grab” on Holyrood powers. Now we see it in action, with the UK Government saying it will allow the DRS in Scotland to go ahead – but only its terms that glass is excluded in line with schemes in England and Northern Ireland.

What makes it worse is that not so long ago, the Scottish Tories were demanding glass be included in the scheme – and the Tories at Westminster even included it in their 2019 manifesto.

The DRS scheme can be added to the growing list of legislation passed by Holyrood which the UK Government has stamped over.

See also bills on gender reform, children’s rights, local government and Brexit.

The Conservatives no doubt believe they are showing the strength of the Union.

In reality, they are making the case for independence stronger every day.