ACCOUNTANTS in Scotland have become more gloomy about Brexit and increasingly keen for the United Kingdom to remain part of the European single market, a study has found.

The results of a survey of members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland also show finance leaders are opposed to the idea of different parts of the UK applying separate policies on trade and migration.

They suggest there is much unease about the implications of Brexit for individuals with many finance experts working in the UK and in EU countries considering relocating.

ICAS said the results of the second Brexit Tracker survey in association with Brodies law firm showed finance leaders are getting more pessimistic about the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union and the expected results.

The average reading for expectations about the likely impact of Brexit on respondents and their organisations fell to -14 from -10.

The score can range from -50 for very negative to +50 for very positive.

In terms of the expected impact of Brexit on the UK economy, the index score slipped to -16, from -13.

Mike McKeon, chair of the ICAS Brexit Advisory Group, said: “The survey reflects the fact that time is running on and we are still not getting any clear view of what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be.”

Sixty per cent of respondents would prefer to see the UK in the EU Single Market after Brexit, against 52 per cent in the last quarter.

Suggestions parts of the UK should apply their own trade and migration policies were opposed by 70 and 68 per cent of respondents respectively.

The responses suggest thirty six per cent of EU nationals working in the UK as colleagues of ICAs members are considering relocating.

Some 45 per cent of UK nationals who are colleagues of ICAS members and are working in other parts of the EU are considering relocating.

The survey had 530 responses, with 290 from people based in Scotland. Ninety nine came from people based outside the UK.

ICAS said responses in Scotland were in line with the average.