DAVID Mundell is hoping to produce a list of which 111 Brussels powers and responsibilities will be devolved to Holyrood after Brexit – and which will not – by Christmas.

The Scottish Secretary’s move is meant to help ease tensions with Edinburgh, secure Holyrood’s consent for the UK Government’s flagship EU Withdrawal Bill and avoid damaging legislative congestion across Whitehall.

Publicly Mr Mundell is expressing optimism that Nicola Sturgeon and her colleagues, who regard the legislation as a “naked power-grab,” will in the end support it, privately, there is a deal of concern about the impact MSPs withholding consent could have on the UK Government’s whole legislative timetable.

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It is thought that so-called Legislative Consent Motions [LCMs] will be needed not only on the main repeal Bill but also for those pieces of legislation covering trade, agriculture and fisheries.

“Any serious delay could clog up the entire system,” warned one senior Government insider. Another noted: “This issue has to be taken into account right across Whitehall because LCMs are not just an issue for the Withdrawal Bill involving the Brexit Department, Cabinet Office and Scotland Office, it’s much wider than that.”

Such is the Scottish Secretary’s concern at the lack of appreciation among colleagues about what dangers a constitutional crisis with Edinburgh might bring, he raised the issue of LCMs at Cabinet.

Government sources have confirmed that Theresa May plans to meet the First Minister soon, that a further bilateral between her deputy Damian Green and Ms Sturgeon’s, John Swinney, will take place in the next few weeks and another intergovernmental Joint Ministerial Committee will be held before Christmas.

In the next few days officials from both Governments will meet to discuss amendments to the Withdrawal Bill in an “amendments forum”.

The Herald has been told the Scottish Secretary is hopeful in the next few weeks of drawing up a schedule of “baskets,” with one containing those powers and responsibilities which can be transferred on withdrawal to the Scottish Parliament and another containing those which will need a UK framework to ensure there is no disruption to the country’s single market.

One source said the plan was to get this published "by Christmas". However, he also noted there might have to be a third basket, where there is any lingering dispute over which powers should be retained at Westminster and which should be devolved to Holyrood.

Meanwhile in the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, the House Leader, told MPs that the detailed scrutiny stage for the repeal bill would begin on November 14, more than two months after the first Second Reading debate.

She has contended, amid claims the UK Government has been working to avoid potential defeats in the Commons, that the pause was caused by the Government wanting to give "well-considered" responses to more than 300 amendments and at least 54 new clauses.

Earlier, David Davis was called before MPs to explain Government policy following confusion on Wednesday after the Brexit Secretary suggested MPs might not get to vote on Brexit until after withdrawal had actually happened.

After Mrs May told MPs she was “confident” that, as promised, MPs would get a vote before Brexit took place, Mr Davis’s office issued a clarification, insisting MPs would, of course, get a vote before withdrawal occurred.

During an Urgent Question in the Commons, brought by Labour, Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, said the Government was “in a mess” and demanded it give a “cast-iron guarantee” that Parliament would get a vote on the final Brexit deal before the UK left the EU.

The Secretary of State told MPs he "fully expects" such a vote and insisted it would be “meaningful; either to accept that deal or to move forward without a deal”.

Nicky Morgan, the former Conservative Education Secretary, fired a warning shot about a possible rebellion, telling the Government that she and some of her Tory colleagues were "deadly serious" about backing plans to give MPs a final say on the Brexit deal.