THE way the UK Government is carrying out the Brexit process is "turning friends into enemies", a senior Welsh minister has said.

Finance secretary Mark Drakeford was speaking at a meeting of the Assembly's Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee yesterday during a discussion of the Welsh Government's so-called continuity bill.

The Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Bill, which would keep EU law in devolved areas such as farming and fishing in place post-Brexit, was presented earlier this month and could be signed off as soon as the end of March.

Speaking at the committee Mr Drakeford said: "The bill is needed because we have to date failed to negotiate a satisfactory outcome with the UK Government in relation to its withdrawal bill.

"That is a matter of real frustration given that we share the objectives of the withdrawal bill - we all agree with the need for an orderly transfer of EU law into Welsh law."

Key to the Welsh Government's concerns are that, under the current Brexit plan, some elements of devolved law will be handed back to Westminster once the UK leaves the EU, with the onus then on the UK Government to pass the powers back to Wales. The Welsh Government has said instead these powers should go straight back to Wales.

Mr Drakeford said: "I was baffled by the UK Government's wish to have a fight over something where no fight is necessary and turning friends into enemies in a way which is entirely unnecessary."

But he said he remained convinced the UK Government agreeing to amend the Brexit Bill to take account of the devolved administrations concerns, which it has so far refused to do, would be the best way forward.

"The way we will operate is by the UK Government sweeping everything off the table and into its lap," he said. "I don't think that's in the best interests of the UK."

Theresa May has said the bill, as well as a similar one presented by the Scottish Government, is "unnecessary".

The bill, which was first suggested by South Wales East AM Steffan Lewis, will be debated in the Assembly this afternoon.

Wales voted 52.5 per cent to 47.5 per cent in favour of leaving the EU in June 2016. In Scotland voters backed Remain by 62 per cent to 38 per cent.