SCOTLAND and the rest of the UK may have to brace for a No-Deal Brexit at the end of this year as the deadline to request an extension to the current transition period passes today.

European expert Anthony Salamone said the two sides would need to agree to any extension by the end of July 1 but as it would require the EU and the UK to agree the latter’s financial contribution for the period of the extension, the deadline has “effectively passed”.

“The deadline for a Brexit extension has passed. The Withdrawal Agreement is very specific on this point and there is now no readily conceivable way for the transition to be extended later, if the UK Government somehow had a change of heart down the line,” Salamone told The National.

“The UK’s ambitions for the future relationship with the EU were already remarkably low – a Free Trade Agreement plus cooperation in other areas.

"That would make the UK the most disconnected country from the EU this side of the continent. The EU recognises the damage such a distant relationship would bring, but it has to work with what the UK has decided.”

“Even with such low aspirations though, the negotiations have not gone well to date and both sides remain apart on major issues. Face-to-face talks have now resumed, but progress will not be possible if the UK continues to seek to cherry-pick benefits from the EU single market and refuse to sign up to high economic and social standards.

“As the negotiations get down to the wire, increasingly the only viable route to a deal will be for the UK to agree most of what the EU is asking for – which of course is what the UK has ultimately done from day one of the Brexit process.”

Boris Johnson has repeatedly refused to seek an extension to the implementation period which keeps the UK in the single market and customs union.