A new poll reveals more than 60 per cent of Scots want the UK’s Brexit transition period extended ahead of a deadline to agree the move.
While Britain is no longer in the EU, it continues to follow most European law and retain the benefits of the single market until the end of December under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
But with negotiations for a trade deal making little progress, there are fears of a No Deal crash unless the transition period is lengthened, which the EU claim needs to be done by Tuesday.
A Survation poll found 63 per cent of people in Scotland back an extension compared with just
48 per cent across the UK.
The coronavirus pandemic has heightened concerns that No Deal would cause further damage to the economy, which has already been battered by the Covid outbreak.
Fergus Mutch, acting director of a new pro-EU Scottish campaign group due to launch next month, said: “The next few days are crucial.
“The sensible and practical thing to do would be for the UK Government to agree an extension to the transition period beyond the end of the year.
“Failing to do so leaves open the very real risk of a No Deal outcome and significant damage to our future relationship with the EU.
“By a significant margin, people in Scotland want to see the UK Government use the flexibility available to them.”
Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray MP added: “Labour wants the best possible deal for this country, but timescales are tight to deliver the promised deal.
“The UK Government must fulfil its promises to the British people in order to protect jobs, secure our food and medical supplies and to protect our citizens’ safety and security.
“Now is not the time to put those things at risk.”
A report from the The UK in a Changing Europe think-tank last week concluded Brexit will have “significant adverse effects” on British manufacturing because it is so highly integrated with the EU single market.
Professor David Bailey, senior fellow of the unit, said: “Manufacturing matters. It matters in terms of high-quality jobs, exports, research and development and much more. Much of the sector has already taken a hit through the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit risks further disruption for manufacturers which they are keen to minimise.
“No trade deal is seen as the worst-case scenario for sectors such as the automotive industry given the impact of tariffs.
“But even a minimal Free Trade Agreement could bring disruption for manufacturers, for example via its impact on supply chains and in terms of regulatory divergence.
“Whatever the form of Brexit at the end of the transition period, manufacturing faces multiple challenges in terms of recovering from the impact of Covid-19.”