HOLYROOD could have extra powers on “day one after Brexit”, Theresa May’s deputy has said, predicting the SNP’s current objections to the transfer process would “melt away”.

First Secretary of State Damian Green ruled out changing the main Brexit legislation, despite the Scottish Government warning this week it could lead to a constitutional crisis.

Instead, he said logic pointed to the two governments converging on a deal, allowing some powers being repatriated from Brussels to go immediately to Holyrood at the point of Brexit.

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Mr Green, who had an introductory meeting with Brexit minister Michael Russell and deputy First Minister John Swinney in Edinburgh on Wednesday, said he expected further talks in the coming months to identify exactly which powers could be transferred in this way.

He said: “I think some powers can be devolved at the point of Brexit. We want the powers that are properly exercised in Scotland to be exercised in Scotland permanently.

“In an ideal world we would have that Day One after Brexit, powers that are going to be devolved can be devolved. That’s what I’m hoping to get to.”

The EU (Withdrawal) Bill states all powers currently exercised by Brussels will be repatriated to Westminster at Brexit, even those in devolved areas.

Some will then be “released” to Holyrood and the other devolved administrations, with others subject to UK-wide “common frameworks” to avoid disrupting the UK’s internal market.

The SNP says the Bill is a “power grab” and a threat to the entire devolution settlement, as it would mean Westminster taking control of powers in devolved areas.

Mr Russell believes most of the 110 policy areas involved rightly belong in Edinburgh, although he accepts some UK-wide frameworks will be required.

After Wednesday’s introductory encounter, Mr Russell demanded “serious and significant changes” to the Bill, saying MSPs would reject it in its current form.

Although Holyrood could not block the Bill, if MSPs withheld their legislative consent and Westminster pressed on regardless, it would precipitate a constitutional crisis.

Mr Green, the effective deputy Prime Minister, said it was “premature” to discuss what would happen if Holyrood spurned the Bill, and predicted a positive outcome from the talks between Edinburgh and London.

He said these would go on “in parallel” to the Bill making its passage through Westminster, and he had offered to revive the Joint Ministerial Committee on the EU, which last met in February.

He said: “It’s not a power grab. What we’re trying to do is find a practical way through to find the best Brexit deal for everyone in the UK... that respects the devolution settlement.

“This process should end up with more powers coming to Scotland than are exercised here at the moment. We get there by agreeing what those powers should be, and when we’ve got to that point I can’t imagine the Scottish Government are going to object to that.

“As this process goes on, I think the difficulties that appear now will disappear.

“When we get to a point where we can see which powers are best exercised at a UK-wide level and which are best exercised at a Scottish level, if and when we agree that, and I think we will agree that, then a lot of the more theoretical objections tend to melt away.”

Asking if the SNP’s rhetoric was essentially posturing, he said: “The logic of the Scottish Government’s position would make them want to have a settlement because it would be good for Scotland. They are sensible people, I assume that’s the position they will adopt.”

He said any powers which might be transferred to Holyrood at Brexit would not be listed on the face of the Bill, but might be detailed in secondary legislation with input from Edinburgh.

He also said any deal between the governments would be published.

He insisted the UK did not want to horde powers repatriated from Brussels, but wanted to pass them on to the devolved administrations “as soon as possible.”

He said: “That provision in the Withdrawal Bill is a temporary position. It is bringing the powers back from Brussels on the way, for large parts of them, to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“What we need to do, and what these talks are about, is agree where we need a national framework so we don’t have any damage to trade inside the United Kingdom.

“We want these to pass through as fast as possible when we’ve got agreement.”

He said it was not “practical” to repatriate powers to the devolved nations first and then work out UK-wide agreements because the devolution settlements were all different.

There was also the complication of Stormont being suspended, he added.

Responding, Mr Russell said: “We have made our position crystal clear to UK ministers, who should be in no doubt whatsoever that we will not recommend that the Scottish Parliament gives consent to the bill as it stands.

“We are not opposed in principle to UK-wide policy frameworks in certain areas, but that must be on the basis of agreement between equal partners not by imposition. ‎Our serious concerns are shared by the Welsh Government and we continue to work with them on this."‎