Ok ministers have been warned they are going to be undermining devolution in the event that they arrange new freeports in Scotland and Wales with out the backing of the devolved governments.

Scottish Government ministers have made plain they may “challenge any attempts by the UK Government to impose their model in Scotland by legislating in devolved areas”, insisting such a transfer can be a “breach of the spirit of the devolution settlement”.

Holyrood enterprise minister Ivan McKee issued the warning concurrently he and ministers from Wales demanded readability on funding for freeports – particular financial zones providing tax breaks and decrease tariffs for companies as part of the UK Government’s “levelling up” agenda.

Both the Scottish and Welsh administrations concern being short-changed on this, when in comparison with the funding being made out there for freeports in England.

Business minister Ivan McKee has pressed the problem in a letter to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack. (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The supply stated: “Rather than work constructively with us on creating much needed jobs in Scotland, the Scottish Government would rather waste time playing political games.”

Mr McKee, nevertheless, insisted the funding proposed by Westminster is “unfair and disadvantages ports in Scotland compared to their competitors in England”.

In a letter to Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, he claimed the mannequin proposed by Westminster would see UK ministers resolve the placement of freeports in Scotland, just for the capital funding to return from Holyrood’s finances.

He advised the Scottish Secretary: “Collaboration and joint working across devolved and reserved competencies requires joint decision making, and I would ask that you reconsider this position and agree to joint determination, or I must conclude that you are making an offer that you wish us to reject.”

The minister insisted the Scottish Government “remains committed to working in partnership with the UK Government” on freeports.

But he added: “We can not signal as much as a UK coverage which doesn’t respect devolution, undermines the Scottish financial system and fails to offer equal funding to what’s on provide for ports in England.

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