Political Correspondent

DAVID Mundell is sticking by his claim that Scotland will see a Brexit “powers bonanza” when the UK leaves the European Union.

The Scottish Secretary told MPs on the UK Government was currently doing a “deep dive” into the 111 policy areas where power will be returned from the EU to the UK.

Mr Mundell said there would be no power grab by Westminster and his presumption was that control would be given to Holyrood over devolved areas.

He said the “deep dive” by civil servants was examining in detail how policy areas will be dealt with in a “post Brexit environment”.

He was asked by Pete Wishart, the committee chair, if he still believed there would be a powers bonanza for Scotland.

Mr Mundell said: “I stand by that view.”

He said he was hoping for agreement on some powers being given directly to the Scottish Parliament and others would require a framework and discussions on how they should be administered.

The Scottish Secretary said there was good discussions taking place between the UK and Scottish governments which led him to say: “I’m confident my powers statement will be vindicated.”

Mr Mundell said he was disappointed by suggestions of a “power grab” by Westminster where EU policy areas that are currently devolved to Scotland, like fishing and agriculture, would be taken by Westminster after Britain leaves the EU.

He said: “I’m disappointed by the repeated power grab suggestion. When we deliver people will see there is no power grab.”

He said there could be a transitional period for some policies which are complex and not able to be transferred to Holyrood directly.

Tommy Sheppard SNP MP said if the powers that are to be transferred directly and those which require a transition were to be identified it might help convince those who believe there will be a power grab.

He said: “We might get some relief from our scepticism if that was spelled out. Some in your party see it as an excuse to roll back devolution.”

Mr Mundell said: “My position is to persuade others matters should be devolved unless there is issues like protracted arrangements. I am proceeding on a presumption of devolution.”