THE SNP have warned the Chancellor will be forced to walk “blindfolded” towards the Brexit Budget next week, due to the damaging uncertainty caused by the UK Government’s destructive approach to leaving the EU.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Conservative plans to leave the single market and Customs Union “whatever the cost” would cause decades of damage to UK jobs and living standards, and had left the Chancellor in the “ridiculous” position of having to present a Budget “without a clue” about the state of the economy in the coming financial year.

Philip Hammond will present the Budget to Parliament a week tomorrow. Blackford called on the Chancellor to heed his own warnings, and use the Budget to rule out an extreme Tory Brexit.

He said: “The UK Government must ditch its destructive plans for an extreme Tory Brexit, which it knows will leave the whole country poorer and worse off for decades to come.

“The Chancellor will be forced to walk blindfolded towards the Brexit Budget next week – with no deal in place and damaging uncertainty hanging over the UK economy.

“Reckless Tory plans to drag Scotland and the UK out of the single market and Customs Union, whatever the cost, will inflict huge damage to jobs, living standards and public finances. The UK Government’s own analysis shows that the false choice it is presenting, between a bad deal or no deal at all, could hit Scottish GDP by up to 9%, putting 80,000 jobs on the line, and costing Scotland £12.7bn a year – the equivalent of £2300 lost for every person.

“It is time for the Tories to step back from the brink, and use the Budget to rule out an extreme Brexit now before it is too late.

“The Chancellor must heed his own warnings and demand that the Prime Minister acts in the interests of the country, instead of being consumed by the Tory civil war.”

It is expected that the Budget will see changes to inheritance tax, and a possible crack down on the small amounts of tax paid by tech giants like Google and Amazon in the UK which have been sharply criticised by the Chancellor in the past.

A new report published today by Deloitte shows that consumer confidence in Scotland is plummeting, dipping to -9%.

This is down 4% from the previous quarter and the lowest it has been since the second quarter of 2017.

The Consumer Tracker poll, published quarterly, found that UK consumer confidence fell by 3% in the third quarter of 2018, down to -7%.

Overall, following a year of consistent growth, consumer optimism has now fallen back to where it was a year ago.

In the survey all six measures of confidence fell compared to the previous quarter. The drop in overall confidence was principally driven by consumers feeling less optimistic about levels of disposable income and personal debt.

This could also be in reaction to increasing inflation and the interest rates rise that occurred during the period.

Ian Stewart, of Deloitte, said: “The reality of higher inflation and August’s interest rate rise has dented optimism about spending power. Meanwhile uncertainty and the manner in which the UK exits the EU in less than six months time is creating an additional headwind for consumers.”