The north-east would be among the hardest-hit parts of Scotland if there is a no-deal Brexit in 35 days, a new report claims.
The Scottish Government report predicts Aberdeen will be particularly impacted because more than one in 10 workers come from the EU outside the UK and no deal would create uncertainty about their rights to work here.
It also claims Aberdeenshire would suffer as it hosts many companies that could be hit by bigger tariffs and more red tape when exporting goods.
The report assessed how no deal would impact different parts of Scotland and said 14,700 of Aberdeen’s 123,800 workforce – 10.7% – are EU nationals not from the UK. This is the second highest percentage in Scotland after Edinburgh.
The report also said more than 25% of 138,900 Aberdeenshire’s workforce are employed in sectors “most exposed” to no deal, such as farming and fisheries.
Predicting Scotland would suffer an “economic shock” after no-deal, the report concludes: “Sectors with high levels of exports to the EU, who are reliant on EU workers and free movement of labour and/or are subject to EU regulatory and licencing requirements are likely to see the greatest impact.
“It has the potential to push the Scottish economy into recession, with a corresponding increase in unemployment.”
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart said: “These new figures are yet another warning that a no-deal Brexit would be devastating for Aberdeen.”
Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman, of the SNP, said: “The worst option would be no deal, leaving us falling off a cliff in March.
“The loss of freedom of movement will have a devastating effect on Aberdeen.”
“I am personally devastated about the impact Brexit will have and this report shows no corner of Scotland will escape the disastrous effect.”
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North East Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles said: “At the very least the deadline for a deal needs to be extended, otherwise many people, particularly here in the north-east, will face real hardship.”
North East Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “The report shows the rural north-east is most vulnerable. No deal would hit the north-east hardest.”
A UK Government spokesperson said: “The best way to avoid no deal is for parliament to agree a deal.
“Our deal is the best available for jobs and the economy across the whole UK, including Scotland, allowing us to honour the referendum and realise the opportunities of Brexit
“Extending Article 50 simply defers the point of decision and the policy dilemmas, choices and trade-offs we face will not go away if we postpone exit day.”
Gordon MP Colin Clark, of the Conservatives, said: “Significant preparations have been made by the UK Government in the event we leave without a deal.
“However, it is very clear the best way to avoid a ‘no deal’ scenario is to vote for the deal on the table.
“SNP and Labour MPs must think very carefully before voting against the withdrawal agreement when it returns to the House of Commons.
“If no deal is to be as catastrophic as they claim, then the SNP and Labour will be complicit in leading us to that outcome.”