A successful Brexit deal will “strengthen the Union,” David Davis has insisted, as he predicted “significant changes” to the devolution settlement with the return of powers from Brussels.

But the SNP denounced the UK Government’s eagerly-awaited White Paper as a mess, “a bourach,” and accused the Brexit Secretary of trying to “rail-road” the Article 50 Bill through Westminster.

The 77-page document, in general, restates the core themes of Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech last month with her insisting in a foreword that the aim of the negotiations ahead is “not merely forming a new partnership with Europe but building a stronger, fairer and more Global Britain too”.

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The PM stresses: “We do not approach these negotiations expecting failure but anticipating success.”

The section on Scotland and the other devolved nations is headed “Strengthening the Union” and talks of the “bonds that unite us”.

On the repatriation of powers from Brussels over areas like agriculture and the environment the Paper says there will be an “opportunity to determine the level best-placed to make new laws and policies on these issues, ensuring that power sits closer to the people of the UK than ever before”.

It adds: “We have already committed that no decisions already taken by the devolved administrations will be removed from them and we will use the opportunity of bringing decision-making back to the UK to ensure that more decisions are devolved.”

But responding for the Scottish Government, Michael Russell, the minister engaged in the intergovernmental talks on Brexit, said there were "concerning aspects" such as the prospect of a deal not being done and a consequent "cliff edge of disruption," which, he said, would be catastrophic for Scotland and the UK.

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“There is also no commitment at all – unlike in the EU referendum campaign last year – to the transfer of powers to Scotland. Instead there appears to be a growing appetite for centralising currently devolved matters like agriculture at Westminster."

In his Commons statement, Mr Davis said one of the 12 guiding principles in the negotiations, alongside migration control and leaving the single market, was “strengthening the Union by securing a deal that works for the whole of the UK”.

And he noted how the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK would come to an end, stressing: “It will be for Parliament and the devolved legislatures to determine significant changes to reflect our new position.”

During Commons exchanges, Sir Keir Starmer for Labour complained how there was nothing in the Paper that “progresses the situation of EU nationals in this country”.

Mr Davis insisted the UK Government would not be "throwing people out of Britain" as a result of the Brexit deal and had a “moral” responsibility and debt to EU nationals as well as a "moral and legal debt" to British expats.

Stephen Gethins for the SNP upbraided the Brexit Secretary for showing an “astonishing disrespect” to the House by publishing the Paper just moments before MPs got to question him, suggesting this showed a fear of scrutiny by the Conservative Government.

“The Secretary of State said in his statement that the devolved legislatures would face ‘significant changes’. Does that mean that a legislative consent motion will now be required?” he asked.

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The Fife MP added: “This is a mess; it is a bourach. It is going to have an impact on each and every one of us, and people deserve better.”

Earlier during Business Questions, Alex Salmond complained about the failure of the Government to plan for a Report Stage of the bill – when amendments can be considered – saying this meant it intended to “turn down every single one of 128 pages of serious amendments”.

"That rail-roading, for that's what it is, means that the amendments which lie undebated and unvoted upon will be longer than a white paper, which by the look of it is not substantial enough to stop a door, never mind start an international negotiation," declared the former First Minister.

Responding, David Lidington, the Commons Leader, said the Gordon MP was opposed in principle to the bill and was "seeking to argue parliamentary procedure should be prolonged".

He added it was up to Lindsay Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker, to select the amendments for debate, not the Government.

On Wednesday, the Commons voted by 498 to 114 to progress the bill and next week MPs will consider the legislation for a further three days with a final vote on Wednesday. The bill then goes to the Lords and while the UK Government does not have a majority in the Second Chamber, it is expected to pass in time for Mrs May to trigger Article 50 by the end of March.