TRUST between Holyrood and Westminster is at its “lowest ebb” in at least a decade, Scotland’s Brexit minister has said.

Mike Russell said he had felt unable to share Scotland’s alternative Brexit Bill with officials in England ahead of publication – due to a breakdown in trust between the two sides in the aftermath of the EU referendum.

It came as figures from across the political system insisted Whitehall needed to understand Scotland better, and stop viewing Holyrood as part of the UK Government.

READ MORE: Record level of Scots unhappy with British political system

Mr Russell said trust was at the lowest level he had experienced, with relationships more frayed than when he was culture minister in 2009.

Giving evidence at a Westminster committee, he said: “The trust on which this relationship has to be based is at a pretty low ebb. Probably the lowest ebb I’ve experienced.

“I was a member of the Joint Ministerial Committee in 2009, when I was in charge of culture and external affairs, and I do think the system has even less trust in it than it had then.”

It comes as research found just one in 1,000 people believe the Scottish and UK governments work well together.

READ MORE: Record level of Scots unhappy with British political system

Scottish ministers are pushing ahead with their own alternative to the EU Withdrawal Bill after failing to reach agreement with the UK Government over where powers should be devolved after Brexit.

Wales has now struck a deal with Downing Street over the legislation, but Scottish Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens have all backed the SNP Government’s continued opposition. Its alternative legislation is now set to be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Mr Russell was speaking to MPs on the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee as they met in Edinburgh.

He said Scottish ministers had only shared their rival Brexit Bill with officials down south shortly before it was published, due to a lack of trust.

He said: “We only shared it on publication, or a day before publication – and that is not normal.

“But we’ve got ourselves, I’m afraid, to the stage where there’s a very substantial lack of trust on both sides. And I think both of us regret that.

“But we did not trust the processes for that bill to go into the system, and for it to emerge unscathed. So we did not share it.”

However, he insisted it wasn’t too late for the two governments to reach agreement and avoid a constitutional clash.

READ MORE: Record level of Scots unhappy with British political system

He said changes would have to be made by the UK Government to achieve this, a stance backed by three of the four opposition parties at Holyrood.

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins told the committee there needed to be a “change of culture and understanding in Whitehall”.

He said: “This is not a unitary state. It is a multi-government state. It is a multi-national state.

“And leaving the European Union does not mean, in any way, that we revert to the constitution of 1972, which is the year we joined.

“We are leaving the European Union in a constitutional environment which is very different indeed from that which pertained in the early 1970s.

“And if that could be understood – I think it is understood in Westminster; I think it isn’t always understood in Whitehall.

“If I could have one single wish out of this, it would be that that change in culture could happen sooner rather than later in Whitehall.

“I think that would avoid a lot of the problems that we have encountered since June 2016.”

READ MORE: Record level of Scots unhappy with British political system

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard also spoke of a "complete breakdown of trust" between the two governments.

Meanwhile in Whitehall, little hope was being given to the prospects of an elevent-hour breakthrough on the Brexit Bill as insiders described them as “slim” to “non-existent”.

On Wednesday, David Lidington, the Cabinet Office Minister who leads for the UK Government, will chair yet another meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committe with Mike Russell attending for the Scottish Government.

While the meeting will naturally discuss the continuing impasse on the bill between London and Edinburgh, sources suggested most of the meeting is likely to be taken up with how Whitehall will involve the SNP administration on UK-EU talks during the 18-month transition period.

On the same day, peers will debate the UK Government’s Clause 11 amendments, with Conservative ministers confident they will sail through now that Cardiff Bay has agreed to support the legislation.

Between the ending of the EU Withdrawal Bill’s Report Stage next week and the start of its Third Reading on May 18, the legislation will go for debate and vote to both the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly with the expectation now that the former will reject it and the latter accept it.