NICOLA Sturgeon is preparing to publish a major new document setting out detailed proposals on how Scotland can remain in the European single market.

It is understood the First Minister has been working on the plans for several months but has held back from unveiling them because of the changing Brexit landscape.

Sources have said there will be a significant emphasis in the new paper on warnings issued about the economic damage of leaving the single market – for both the UK as a whole and remain voting Scotland.

It will set out the impact on job losses, living standards and the economic life of Scotland’s major cities should the country be removed from the single market.

In addition it is also understood that more details are to be given on how the situation would work if Scotland remains in the single market but the rest of the UK leaves.

The revelation comes almost a year after the Scottish Government published its Scotland In Europe document, which set out three ways for the country to remain in the single market, including as an independent state.

“It was initially due out in October, then November, and now soon,” one insider told The National.

“There did seem to be a point where it wasn’t going to be published but for the work and arguments to be used, but that does seem to have shifted back in favour of publication.”

The source added: “I think there may be more in on the need for the UK as a whole to stay in both single market and customs union and more evidence and examples on the damaging effects on Scotland if not.

“There will be more arguments than before about exactly how it would work if only Scotland was in the single market – where in last December’s problems there were real problems, and still are, over how you stop there being a border between England and Scotland.”

A second source added: “There are various things in the works, though the timing of the release of the document or documents remains to be seen.

“Scotland’s Place In Europe remains largely where we are. Much of that is being revisited, there is a lot of research being done by the government to inform the government’s view. The efforts of the government are to shift the focus in Westminster in favour of the single market.”

The insider continued: “There will be an update on the numbers, an update on the economics, what’s happened to the economics since Scotland’s Place In Europe was published and a reminder of what is at stake in terms of the economy.”

A major research study in October warned Scotland would suffer a “devastating” Brexit bombshell with its towns and cities losing nearly £30 billion as a result of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The analysis suggested every part of Scotland and the UK as a whole would be affected by a soft Brexit, which would retain access to the single market during a transition period, according to the London School of Economics (LSE).

And in July another study predicted Aberdeen faced being the hardest hit city in the UK, with Edinburgh and Glasgow also forecast to fare badly. The analysis by the Centre for Cities thinktank predicted that in the decade following the implementation of new trade agreements with the EU, every local authority area would be negatively affected.

The impacts would be greater in the case of a “hard” Brexit – where the UK would default to trading with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules. A “soft” Brexit – if the UK joined a free-trade area with the EU – would lessen its negative effects across the board.

The National spoke with sources after Kirsty Hughes, director of the Scottish Centre on European Relations, tweeted: “Scottish govt will soon issue new version of their policy goal of staying in single market even while rUK goes for harder Brexit. Will raise border problems to England just as special status for NI would.” Hughes could not be contacted for further comment last night.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Government has and will continue to publish papers on the impacts on Scotland of the UK leaving the EU. The Scottish Government believes we should remain in EU. If that is not possible, we must remain within the single market and customs union, which is clearly in the best interests of our economy and society.”

Brexit minister Michael Russell and Deputy First Minister John Swinney met Damian Green, the First Secretary of State and David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary yesterday.

Russell said progress was made during the meeting “on the issue of UK frameworks” but that not sufficient progress was made for the Scottish Government to recommend parliament agrees to give legislative consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill.