A CONTROVERSIAL Bill which would break international law if it passes is to be put before Parliament today.

The UK Internal markets Bill will be debated by MPs this afternoon, with Boris Johnson expected to face a rebellion from inside his own party on the legislation.

Not only would the bill break the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU last year, it has caused chaos with devolved governments which claim it is an assault on devolution.

Both the Scottish and Welsh governments have fiercely criticised the planned legislation and have urged MPs to vote against it.

Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader has today claimed it is a "Trojan horse" which would not only impact devolution and food standards but see the NHS opened up to "creeping privatisation".

Blackford, who had put forward an amendment to the bill which roundly rejects it entirely, has also claimed Scotland's water system could also be influenced by private companies if it is passed.

He said: "This Tory power grab is a Trojan Horse Bill, which could open Scotland's NHS and water services up to the kind of creeping privatisation and deregulation that we are already seeing under the Tories in England.

"The whole thrust of Boris Johnson’s bill is to restrict devolved policy choices and impose Westminster decisions on Scotland. It includes a Trojan Horse clause to allow Tory ministers to encroach in the future even further on devolution against the will of the Scottish Parliament.

"This bill must be stopped in its tracks. The Tory government has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. It freely admits it is willing to break international law, impose an extreme Brexit, and destroy the foundations of Scotland's devolution settlement.

"If Westminster won't stop this unprecedented attack on devolution, it will demonstrate beyond all doubt that the only way to protect Scotland's democratic powers, our NHS, and our place in Europe is to become an independent country."

Richard Leonard, Scottish Labour leader has also slammed the internal markets bill, and said Boris Johnson must stop "playing fast and loose! with devolution.

He said: "Only a few months ago, Nicola Sturgeon was invoking ‘state aid constraints’ to justify her refusal to save Rolls-Royce jobs at Inchinnan in Renfrewshire.

“At a time when Scotland needs an industrial renaissance more than ever, it is vital that Scotland resists this centralisation of powers. It is here in Scotland, such as in Labour-run North Ayrshire with its Community Wealth Building programme, that we stand the best chance of securing sustainable investment that stays in Scotland - and is not siphoned off to offshore shareholders.

"Boris Johnson must stop playing fast and loose with devolution - he is fast becoming the biggest threat to the stability of the UK.”

It emerged last week that under the terms of the legislation, the UK Government would be able to fund projects in Scotland directly if councils applied for cash, even if Holyrood ministers did not approve of the plans.

Included could be projects in devolved areas such as health, education and road infrastructure.

There are fears that food standards could also be affected by the legislation if the UK Government decided to allow products from the US, such as chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef, to be sold in England.

Under the Internal Markets plan, it is claimed these products would have to be sold in Scotland too even if Holyrood ministers did not agree with it.

The UK Government said "high standards" would be maintained in the food sector, however when asked directly yesterday Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay MP would not guarantee chlorinated chicken would not be allowed in the country.

He said: "I'll give you assurance that we will do a deal that is science-led and maintains high standards, that's what the Prime Minister has made clear.

"'I'm not saying it could happen. What I've been clear [about] is we will maintain high standards and that includes ensuring that any chicken sold is fit for purpose and maintains certain standards and we've been very clear on that."

While the row over power grabs and food standards rumbles on between Holyrood and Westminster, the EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major have all urged MPs an the Prime Minister to reconsider the bill.

It will override parts of the withdrawal agreement that came into law in January, by allowing free trade between Northern Ireland an the UK without any checks.

This directly contradicts the Northern Ireland protocol within the withdrawal agreement.

In a joint statement yesterday, former Conservative PM Major and former Labour PM Blair urged MPs to reject the "shameful" attempt to override parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Irish minister Mr Conveney said that any suggestion by Westminster that the EU would try to blockade goods from Northern Irleand coming in to the south was "spin" and added: "There are no blockades proposed, and that is the kind of inflammatory language coming from No. 10 which is spin and not the truth.

"What is agreed in the withdrawal agreement and in the protocol on Northern Ireland and Ireland, is that there will be limited checks on goods coming from GB into Northern Ireland, because there is an agreement to prevent the need for physical border infrastructure on the island of Ireland between North and South, and therefore we have to ensure that goods are not travelling from GB into the single market through the Republic of Ireland.

"That is the whole basis of the protocol which the UK designed along with the EU together to protect peace in Northern Ireland, which is what Tony Blair and John major are talking about today.

" And that is what the British government is now looking to renege upon."

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said the powers being sought by ministers to amend aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol were an "insurance policy" to be used only if attempts to settle differences in other ways failed.

He also said he would step down if the Government broke the law in a way he did not agree with.