THERE will definitely be uncertainty and possibly economic chaos for businesses across Scotland as a result of Brexit, according to a report published by the Scottish Government yesterday.

Some of Scotland’s best-known businesses have contributed their views on Brexit to the report and it makes chilling reading for those who fear that a hard Brexit in particular will seriously damage Scotland’s economic prospects.

The report was published on the day that Scotland’s Brexit Minister Michael Russell said that the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill has two major flaws which make it “fatal” to devolution.

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Russell told MPs the proposed legislation “breaks the devolution understanding that what is not reserved is devolved” and would enable UK ministers to make alterations to Scottish legislation without scrutiny at Holyrood.

The Bill to transpose EU law into British law involves responsibilities in devolved areas being initially transferred to Westminster, resulting in the Scottish and Welsh administrations joining together to refuse to grant consent to the bill as it stands.

Giving evidence to Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee on the impact of the bill on devolution, Russell said: “We and the Welsh have taken the position on two issues which we believe are fatal to devolution.”

He said if legislative amendments are made to address these two areas the Scottish Government would bring forward a legislative consent motion which it believes the Scottish Parliament would support, and currently all parties at Holyrood are involved in talks on the issue.

He added: “We don’t have a solution as yet, within the Scottish Parliament to that, but we are talking and we are also talking to the UK Government to try and find a way to overcome what are we believe fatal flaws in the bill as far as devolution is concerned. The reason there is that co-operation is because this is not about the SNP and it’s not about a single party. It is about devolution which all the parties have made work over the last 20 years.

“I think that’s the key issue. No matter what position you take on the big questions in Scottish Politics, all the parties work together to make devolution work and to make the parliament work. We believe this bill contains things that would make that much more difficult and would reduce the ability of the parliament to serve the people of Scotland.”

Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine asked the minister: “There is a contradiction between being quite happy to work within that European framework but when the powerbase moves to Westminster it’s not acceptable, so could you explain the difference?”

Russell denied this is the case and said decisions taken in the EU were co-decisions but said there is no proposal in the EU Withdrawal Bill for this, adding that EU frameworks were discussed, not imposed.

He added: “This bill decides to override devolution.”

Meanwhile, business leaders across Scotland were saying that they believe Brexit may hinder recruitment, hit the bottom line, and curtail future growth prospects, according to new report.

The report Brexit: What’s at Stake for Businesses, looks at the key issues from the point of view of businesses, in their own words.

Glasgow Airport commented on the possible loss of the legal framework to fly its current EU routes and some long-haul, including to the US and Canada.

The award-winning Loch Melfort Hotel in Argyll worries about the difficulty of having to attract and retain staff. The Scottish Salmon Company with 60 sites, employing more than 500 people, comments on the importance of remaining in the single market to allow trade relationships to grow.

Founder and creative director of Maramedia Nigel Pope said: “I’m delighted to see the publication of this report. As a producer of international wildlife programming with global relationships it’s essential that our business retains access to the single market for future growth.”

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “The uncertainty regarding the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU is already having an impact on the aviation industry. A number of airlines have stated they will scale back their UK growth plans, focusing instead on adding capacity at airports in the EU.”

Russell commented: “This report articulates the concerns of Scottish businesses as the Brexit clock ticks towards the UK’s departure from the EU.”