WESTMINSTER plans to maintain the UK single market after Brexit will hurt consumers, business, agriculture and prove “disastrous for devolution”, Mike Russell will tell MSPs today.

The SNP Constitution Secretary will sound the alarm as he sets out the Scottish Government’s response to UK’s single market White Paper.

Proposed legislation, which Holyrood is likely to reject, would mean goods allowed for sale in one of the UK nations could be sold in all.

The SNP Government says that in practice England would end up setting food and other standards for the whole UK, even if the devolved nations objected - for instance to the import of US chlorinated chicken.

Until now, all four nations have been under the same regime because of the UK’s membership of the EU single market, but Brexit combined with devolution means they could diverge next year.

Westminster says a uniform single market is needed to avoid internal trade barriers and simplify trade talks with other nations.

But Mr Russell said the plans would weaken Holyrood’s ability to make distinctive laws and protect Scottish interests.

He said: “The UK Government says it wants to take back control from the EU. It is now clear it wants to take back control from Scotland too.

“Companies with deep pockets will be likely to try to challenge any Scottish Parliament law they say impedes their ability to trade across the UK.

“And it will mean the UK Parliament effectively imposing standards in devolved policy areas regardless of the wishes of the people of Scotland and laws passed by the Scottish Parliament.

“The UK Government is desperate for a trade deal with the US - including opening up our market to US agricultural products - threatening our valued and hard-won reputation for the highest quality food standards and produce.

“Under these proposals Scotland will be forced to accept any standards set and agreed by Westminster.”