THE SCOTTISH Government is to step up its preparations for a No-Deal Brexit.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said The refusal of Boris Johnson’s government to enter into talks with the EU meant it was now more likely that the UK would crash out of Europe without a deal

on October 31.

Sturgeon said:“In its first week,

the UK Government has shown it is willing to risk a No-Deal Brexit. Taking Scotland out of the EU in any way is deeply undemocratic but the Prime Minister’s refusal to engage with the EU has dramatically increased the prospect that we will face a deeply damaging No Deal.

“If the Prime Minister continues with this approach Scottish jobs will be lost and our economy seriously damaged and it will be entirely the UK Government’s responsibility.

“Having assessed the actions of the new UK Government, our work to prepare for No Deal will intensify in the coming weeks and months. But even with the best possible preparations, leaving the EU without a deal will hurt Scotland’s businesses, disrupt trade and impact on all aspects of society. There is simply no way to mitigate every impact No Deal will have, no matter how hard we try.

“The willingness of the UK Government to pursue this approach, against all the evidence, shows why we must continue to make preparations for a referendum that will give people the right to decide Scotland’s future, instead of being dragged out of the EU against their will.”

The First Minister also confirmed she would chair a meeting of the Government’s Ministerial Group on EU Exit Readiness next week.

Ministers in Edinburgh scaled down preparations in April when Brussels agreed a further extension to the withdrawal period.

Earlier this week, Chancellor Sajid Javid announced an extra £2.1 billion of funding for No Deal Brexit preparation, including more Border Force officers and money for stockpiling medicines.

Treasury funding rules mean Holyrood will receive a Barnett consequential of just £39.7m.