JOHN Swinney has told MSPs that a No-Deal Brexit could “tip the Scottish economy into a recession”.

The Deputy First Minister’s stark warning in Holyrood yesterday came as the faltering talks between London and Brussels all but broke down.

With just three weeks until the UK is supposed to leave the EU, and little certainty over what happens next, Swinney came to the Parliament to unveil a raft of measures to be triggered if there’s No-Deal.

An emergency Scottish Medicines Shortage Response Group will seek to alleviate any difficulties for patients seeking vital drugs, while a £7 million Rapid Poverty Mitigation Fund will be aimed at “people most in need” who suddenly find they need help with costs.

Swinney also told MSPs that the disused port in Stranraer could be used to hold up to 300 HGVs travelling between Northern Ireland and Scotland.

He also said the government had made sure farmers and crofters receive 95% of their common agricultural policy payments early in a bid to shield them from the immediate effects of crashing out of the EU without a deal.

He also revealed a total of 300 Police Scotland public order trained officers are on standby to deal with any “Brexit related civil contingency issues”, with £17m funding committed to ensure the police can deal with “EU exit related issues”.

Swinney told MSPs: “If the UK Government does not correct its current, disastrous course, the UK is at significant risk of crashing out of the EU at the end of this month, and Scotland will be dragged unwillingly with it.”

He hit out at the Tory government’s “complacent and entirely irresponsible attitude towards No Deal” and accused ministers in Whitehall of failing to share information, saying they had made the Scottish Government’s preparations “unnecessarily difficult”.

He stated: “There is no amount of preparations that could ever make us ready, in any real sense, for the needless and significant impact of a No-Deal outcome.”

Leaving the EU without a deal could, he said, “generate a significant economic shock which could tip the Scottish economy into recession”.

The Deputy First Minister added: “If all other factors remain constant, an increase of 5% in prices could push an additional 130,000 people into poverty in a No-Deal EU exit.”

Tory MSP Donald Cameron stressed his party was “committed to leaving the EU with a deal as the best way to avoid a No-Deal exit”.

“We continue to believe that securing a deal is best for protecting our economy,” he said.