The Scottish Secretary is to accuse the Scottish Government of repeatedly seeking to “undermine the devolution settlement” to provoke unnecessary disagreement, in a speech to his party’s conference.
Alister Jack will urge the Government to respect the devolution settlement and work constructively with the UK administration when he speaks in Manchester on Sunday.
He will tell the Conservative Party conference that devolution works best when the two governments work together.
Mr Jack will say: “My view of devolution is straightforward: it is about Scotland’s two governments, at Westminster and Holyrood, respecting each other’s roles and working together where we can.
“We know that is how devolution works best and we know it is what the vast majority of Scots want and expect.
“Unfortunately, my view is not shared by the nationalists.
“Time and again they have sought to undermine the devolution settlement in order to provoke unnecessary disagreement between the two governments.”
His speech comes after recent clashes between the two governments led to court action.
This included the Scottish Government’s legal challenge against a decision by UK ministers to block controversial gender reform legislation.
The challenge, heard at Scotland’s highest court earlier this month, came after Mr Jack utilised never-before-used powers under the Scotland Act – the legislation that established the Scottish Parliament – to halt the gender laws which sought to simplify the process for trans people to self-identify and obtain a gender recognition certificate.
Lady Haldane, the judge who presided over the case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, has said a judgment could take some time.
Last November, the UK Supreme Court ruled the Scottish Parliament did not have the powers to hold a second independence referendum without the consent of Westminster.
Speaking about the SNP, Mr Jack will tell the conference: “Time and again they have sought to undermine the devolution settlement in order to provoke unnecessary disagreement between the two governments.
“When they took Nicola Sturgeon’s referendum Bill to the Supreme Court, they wasted taxpayers’ money, confirming what everyone knew already: the constitution and the Union are matters reserved to Westminster.
“When they tried to introduce a new system of self-ID for trans people – their Gender Recognition Reform Bill – they ignored the harmful impact on safeguards for women and girls in existing reserved legislation.
“When they tried to bring in a bottle deposit return scheme, they failed to consider the plan’s effect on cross-border trade.
“In each case I felt it was my duty as Secretary of State for Scotland to step in.
“I will not stand by and allow nationalist ministers to undermine or abuse the devolution settlement for their own political ends. Not now, not ever.”
SNP depute leader Keith Brown said: “Alister Jack has some brass neck.
“As Secretary of State for Scotland, he should be going out of his way to enable the smooth running of devolution, but instead he seems to be doing everything he can to sabotage it.”