IN the end no hats were eaten.

MSPs, as expected, voted to withhold their consent to the “power-grab” EU Withdrawal Bill.

But we are told the door is ever so slightly ajar for Nicola and Theresa to seal an ex post facto deal.

Once the First Minister argued her position on a point of principle, it was always going to be difficult to compromise. How can you compromise on principle?

In the great constitutional hoo-ha that has lasted for months, the SNP as well as Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens at Holyrood insisted their argument was straightforward: it is an affront to the devolution settlement for powers coming from Brussels, that would normally be under the control of the Scottish Parliament, to go via the filter of Westminster and Whitehall.

The Labour-run Welsh Government and Labour and Lib Dem peers argued the other way, which for the Prime Minister and her colleagues provided helpful parliamentary cover.

Trust us, Michael Russell, the Scottish Government’s Brexit Minister, told Whitehall; we will not withhold consent unreasonably. But Conservatives do not trust Nationalists.

Mrs May wants to “freeze” 24 powers to ensure Edinburgh does not introduce regulations after Brexit that could undermine the UK’s internal market.

She argues the devolved settlement was not created to allow Holyrood to wield a veto over UK-wide policies.

UK ministers also point out the primary role of the UK Government is to protect the integrity of the UK; even, it seems, if this might rub up against the devolved settlement.

Whitehall has made clear getting the bill on the Statute Book is “vital” to ensure Britain has a smooth and orderly Brexit; so it will press on with it in the face of Holyrood’s opposition.

The FM in the City of London this week knocked back questions about the elusive pimpernel: an answer to if she will demand another vote on Scotland’s future. “Wait and see,” she said.

Of course, Ms Sturgeon knows even if she calls for another referendum, Mrs May will refuse her one.

Yet even when the Withdrawal Bill becomes law following the expected ping-pong with the Lords, the devolution row is not over; there is the Supreme Court hearing on the Continuity Bill.

Should the judges decide in Edinburgh’s favour, then guess what? The matter will go back to the Supreme Court for the judges to decide whose Brexit legislation is best ie takes precedence.

The constitutional hoo-ha will go on...and on...