NICOLA Sturgeon will claim victory in a Brexit tussle with Westminster as Downing Street is set to announce powers being repatriated from Brussels will go directly to the Scottish Parliament.

The decision to place the centre of political gravity on Scottish matters at Holyrood rather than at Westminster may be viewed as a major U-turn by Theresa May and an attempt to avoid a constitutional clash between the governments.

The EU Withdrawal Bill – which would see returning powers from Brussels being devolved to Holyrood only after being processed by Whitehall – has been described as a “naked power grab”by Nicola Sturgeon, who claims it undermines the devolved settlement.

The dispute was compounded after Scottish Secretary David Mundell promised that amendments would be made to Clause 11 of the bill – but embarrassingly no agreement was struck before the bill completed its passage through the Commons.

MSPs from each of Holyrood’s parties demanded changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill before it is put to a legislative consent vote. The changes are expected to made in the Lords.

Peers, who will consider the bill in detail later this month, have warned they will block it unless so-called Legislative Consent Motions [LCMs] are granted by Holyrood and Cardiff Bay. A move by the Lords not to pass the legislation would spark a major constitutional crisis.

But now The Herald has been told that the UK Government, faced with increasing cross-party pressure, has agreed to the fundamental change the First Minister and others have sought.

One source close to the process explained: “Officials working on Clause 11 are now moving to a phase where they put the powers more directly into the hands of the devolved administrations; reversing where Clause 11 actually started from but enabling the UK Government to put in appropriate safeguards to protect the internal market as and when they are required. This is of fundamental importance.”

The vast majority of the 111 powers and responsibilities coming from Brussels after Brexit Day will go immediately to Holyrood but others will need common UK frameworks to protect the internal market.

It now appears that the context of these frameworks, as far as Scotland is concerned, will be Edinburgh rather than London.

UK ministers, who believe the exchange between officials of both governments has been going well, have become increasingly frustrated of late by the negative tone of Scottish ministers.

The administration in Edinburgh has now begun the process of passing a Continuity Bill, so that if an LCM were not granted to the EU Withdrawal Bill, then Scotland’s system of laws would be protected from the disruption of Brexit. However, it is suggested that any implementation of a Continuity Act would be challenged by the UK Government in the courts.