SCOTLAND's economy has taken a major hit from the Covid pandemic as Northern Ireland outperformed the rest of the UK while staying in the EU’s single market, official figures show.

The SNP said Scotland is paying “an outrageous price for Brexit” as they accused the Tories of ignoring pleas from the Scottish Government to give Scotland access to the single market – just like Northern Ireland has.

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, with the countries voting 62% and 55.8% respectively to stay in the economic bloc.

Northern Ireland has largely recovered from the hit of the Covid-19 pandemic – in part due to the protocol – giving it the best performance across all UK nations and regions, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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In contrast, the Scottish economy has suffered a 5% hit. During Brexit negotiations, the Scottish Government asked for the same protections as Northern Ireland, but repeated requests for similar arrangements were shut down by the UK Government.

The report also notes that London was also less impacted by Brexit. The city recorded the second-best performance across Britain, followed by Wales.

Commenting on the report, SNP MSP Clare Adamson said: “Scotland is paying an outrageous price for being ignored by Westminster for a Brexit inflicted on us against our will.

“These numbers are not some abstract theory, in the real world they mean crippling lost revenue for businesses across the Scottish economy and, in turn, that means lost jobs, lost income and hardship for families up and down the country.

“Northern Ireland has been insulated against the worst effects of Brexit because of the special deal arranged for them to remain in the EU’s single market.

“Scotland voted Remain by a larger margin than Northern Ireland but, despite asking for the same arrangement, we got nothing."

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Adamson said Scotland has been "completely ignored" by Boris Johnson and his "Brexit-obsessed" government.

She continued: “These disastrous figures, while shocking, are not in the least surprising. In fact, they were entirely predicted - but the Tories carried on anyway with their damaging obsession.

“It should come as absolutely no surprise that the other area of Britain least affected by Brexit is London. Of course, that’s par for the course for the ‘I’m all right, Jack’ Tories who always prioritise London at the expense of everyone else.

“This should act as a much-needed wake-up call that being controlled and ignored by Westminster is anything other than a disaster for Scotland.”