DIVIDE and rule has been a handy political tool down the ages, so it’s hardly surprising the UK Government is eagerly applying it to the saga over Brexit and devolved powers. For more than a year, Cardiff and Edinburgh have been united in resisting the EU Withdrawal Bill as a “power-grab” that undermines devolution.

The Welsh Government has now accepted a compromise and that unity is over.

Welsh Labour Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford, whose plan to replace Carwyn Jones as First Minister may incline him to a quieter life, has settled for a compromise.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon rejects Brexit deal to 'restrict' Scotland's powers for seven years

However, Nicola Sturgeon says there remain basic problems with new changes to the bill, mainly that the UK Government will have the last word over repatriated devolved powers after Brexit as it creates UK-wide frameworks.

The UK Government and Scottish Conservatives instantly sought to make the most of the situation by claiming the SNP was now “utterly isolated and exposed” on the issue.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell went a stage further, slyly suggesting there was also a split in the SNP Cabinet and Ms Sturgeon had overruled her Brexit minister Michael Russell.

It is certainly true the SNP will miss the Welsh Government’s support, which was a great counterweight to the accusation that this is all a grievance to advance independence.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon rejects Brexit deal to 'restrict' Scotland's powers for seven years

But while the split might be great sport for Tories, it may not move the SNP much closer to a deal, and a constitutional crisis remains in the offing.

Ms Sturgeon is still demanding the EU Bill be fixed by dropping a great chunk of it (Clause 11), or giving Holyrood a veto over frameworks, both of which the UK Government continues to oppose. The problem is a fundamental difference over devolution.

The SNP wants Holyrood to have an effective veto over changes in devolved areas after Brexit, while the Tories insist devolution doesn’t have vetoes.

At least, not vetos over the sovereign parliament by a subordinate one.

The clock is ticking, but that divide unruly continues.