SCOTLAND and the rest of the UK are “teetering on the brink” of recession after new statistics revealed the economy’s worst economic performance in nearly seven years amid the continuing chaos over Brexit.

Figures published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the economy shrank by 0.2% in the second quarter of the year as firms were left counting the cost of no Brexit deal after they had stockpiled additional goods in anticipation of a March exit from the EU.

Earlier this week, revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the first quarter of 2019 found that Scotland’s economy was growing faster than the rest of the UK – highlighting that the strengths of Scotland’s economy are now being undermined by Brexit.

Last month, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said a No-Deal Brexit could see the value of the pound plunge, leaving a £30 billion black hole in public finances and pushing Scotland and the UK into recession.

The SNP has consistently warned that any form of Brexit will be devastating for the economy, jobs and people’s living standards.

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MP Kirsty Blackman, the party’s economy spokesperson, said: “The ONS figures showing the economy has shrunk and suffered its worst performance in nearly seven years has left Scotland and the UK teetering on the brink of a catastrophic recession. This must serve as an urgent wake-up call for a Tory government that is gambling with businesses, jobs and people’s livelihoods as we hurtle towards the October deadline.

“Rather than railroading ahead with his damaging Brexit plans and scheming on ways to bypass Parliament and democracy to inflict such an outcome, the Tory Prime Minister must instead heed the economic warnings and return to reality before it is too late.

Boris Johnson’s plans to impose a catastrophic Brexit will only make things worse, not better – dragging Scotland and the UK over the edge and into a recession, which will destroy jobs, squeeze wages, and drive down people’s living standards. That is a price that businesses, families and industries in Scotland must not pay.”

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The ONS figures showed the economy was weaker than both market expectations and the Bank of England’s latest forecasts, which had pointed to flat growth.

Douglas Chapman, MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, said his constituency alone would lose more than 1100 jobs if there were no deal: “In my constituency we rely heavily on trade with the EU and when compared with other Fife constituencies Dunfermline and West Fife will be hardest hit. This trade, across manufacturing and service industries, needs to continue to run smoothly for the area to prosper and for people’s jobs to be secured.”